The race for space: Low-carbon rocket fuel
by Will Roderick
What's Going On Here?
UK space launch company Orbex has secured £30 million funding to develop a new low-mass, low-carbon launch rocket.
Rather than using conventional fossil fuels, the rockets will use renewable bio-propane, which is thought to lower carbon emissions by as much as 90%. Now that’s the kind of rocket fuel we like!
What Does This Mean?
The space race is officially hotting up with ‘air-line like’ flights expected to blast off in the next decade.
It's not just the fuel which is going greener. The Orbex rockets will also feature a recovery and re-flight system, similar to that of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which would reduce the number of single-use rockets left floating in space. (Who's up for a No To Single-Use Space Rockets Campaign?)
Why Should We Care?
Propelling rockets into space can deplete the earth's ozone, which is vital for protecting plant and human life from harmful ultraviolet radiation. With the space industry about to boom, vital ozone supplies could be catastrophically depleted.
Aviation emissions have doubled since 1990 and are now responsible for 12% of total UK emissions. However, the good news is there could be potential to apply this to commercial aviation, meaning one day you could fly on your holibobs on a renewable bio-propane plane!
Whilst many of us can only dream of travelling to outer space, there are some things you can do to travel more sustainably.
If you want more info on sustainable tourism, click here.
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