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croninsiglos t1_iyoxx06 wrote

This is for all the kids that lit their farts on fire 🚀


wmdolls OP t1_iyoycwg wrote

I expect could report it intime


DarthBrooks69420 t1_iypagmd wrote

One step closer to making Thunderpants a documentary instead of a kids comedy.


SpaceInMyBrain t1_iypg46x wrote

De riguer comment: There's no such thing as a "private firm" in the Chinese space industry. Certainly not for one making a rocket with this level of technology.


joepublicschmoe t1_iypvz2a wrote

The TQ-12 rocket engine these Landspace guys developed is impressive. They got it from drawing board to test stand to flight in 7 years. This is a methalox gas-generator-cycle rocket engine about the same size and power as an early-version SpaceX Merlin 1D.

Europe is trying to develop a rocket engine very similar to the TQ-12 called Prometheus (to be used in a future reusable Ariane rocket). Prometheus is also a methalox gas-generator cycle rocket engine, also similar size and similar power. They have been working on it since 2010 and it is currently in the component development stage (no complete engine yet, after 13 years). Landspace getting their engine from drawing board to flight in 7 years is very impressive.

It will be interesting to see how the TQ-12 engine performs in flight.


gibbillionreasons t1_iypi10q wrote

waving my flag of ignorance here what compounds are produced from burning methane? Since methane is a greenhouse gas, is it better to use it as a fuel source than let it be expelled into the atmosphere? (I realize that we don't just have a magic methane capture device for wherever methane is leaking into the atmosphere) but just curious to know if methane is a relatively good fuel source from the non-renewable resource perspective.


the_fungible_man t1_iypsinf wrote

CH₄ + 2 O₂ → CO₂ + 2 H₂O

Methane + Oxygen yields Carbon Dioxide + Water


PhobicBeast t1_iyr8dqr wrote

Yeah but water also fucks up the ozone layer and atmosphere too, which is why an environmentally friendly rocket will never be possible since any emissions are likely to either turn into like nitrogen, co2 or water.


inko75 t1_iytqjo9 wrote

the whole ass planet has a water cycle. and a carbon and nitrogen cycle. but here's the beauty of water: when too much is in the atmosphere, it rains


Agreeable_Ad3760 t1_iypuh13 wrote

Methane reflects a much higher percentage of IR light back at earth relative to CO2, making it a much more potent greenhouse gas. So all things equal, it is better to burn it than leak it. Some cattle farms actually do this, capturing the cow farts to burn. It’s still primarily a fossil fuel though; the rocket industry is so niche it’s not really an issue, but long term huge consumers like national energy grids will not be able to rely on it (aka natural gas, a neat marketing ploy ;) )


mmrrbbee t1_iypwqyi wrote

Before natural gas, in the 1800’s, they used to gassify coal by putting it in pressure chambers and melting it and storing that in giant tanks. NG is naturally gas from the ground, so technically correct.


rocketsocks t1_iyuoy4h wrote

"Coal gas" (which can be produced from coal, charcoal, or even wood) used to be widely plumbed through major cities into people's homes where it was used for things like heating and cooking. Coal gas is basically the product of incomplete combustion and it contains a various mixture of different combustible and non-combustible gases including hydrogen and most importantly large amounts of carbon monoxide.

And this is precisely why there is the "trope" of committing suicide by putting your head in the oven, because with an oven fueled by coal gas if you blow out (or don't light) the pilot light and turn on the gas you will rapidly build up an area of high concentrations of carbon monoxide inside the oven. And if you put your head in there you will very quickly lose consciousness and then die as the carbon monoxide begins to convert all of the hemoglobin in your blood incapable of transporting oxygen.

Eventually people, mostly, grew wise to the risks of piping such potent poisons into people's homes and switched to the comparatively much safer natural gas (especially as it began to become more available with the boom in the petroleum industry).

However, I'll point out that natural gas usage is actually very old, dating back to the early iron age in some places, like parts of China which used bamboo pipes for drilling wells for shallow natural gas deposits and transporting the gas to the point of use, most especially to evaporate the water from brine in order to produce salt.


smithsp86 t1_iysnzs3 wrote

Technically not reflection. It absorbs and reemits.


inko75 t1_iytqs5h wrote

cows burp methane, not fart (well i assume they fart too-- but the main methane emissions from cows are burps). farms don't capture that anyhow, they store the solid waste and capture the methane released from decomposition.


BrangdonJ t1_iyr594t wrote

If it is ever used at large scale, methane leaks during production and transport could be an issue.


Martianspirit t1_iyrdvdd wrote

It is used at a large and increasing scale. Some does escape. But my understanding is that a big source of atmospheric methane is wells, that are not properly sealed once they are exhausted for commercial use.

Not to mention the infamous cows that release a lot of methane. ;)


BrangdonJ t1_iyrfbnv wrote

By "large scale", I mean for example if P2P methane rockets replace much of the airline industry (as SpaceX hopes for Starship), and/or if methane replaces fossil fuels in other industries. Methane itself can be carbon neutral, so leakage may be its biggest drawback.


ChefExellence t1_iyrtuyg wrote

The quantities of fuel used in space launches are tiny compared to any other industry.


cjameshuff t1_iyrzop5 wrote

CO2 and water for full combustion. Since rockets run fuel-rich, also some CO, H2, and a little elemental carbon...the methane itself decomposes at high temperatures. There's also a little bit of nitrogen oxides produced when the hot exhaust mixes with the air.

Hydrolox rockets technically don't produce CO2, but producing the hydrogen does. And while you could technically produce carbon-neutral hydrogen, you could also use that hydrogen with captured CO2 to make carbon neutral methane, and the latter's much less energy intensive to store and will have far lower losses due to leakage. Plus, hydrogen-burning rockets usually need solid boosters to get off the ground, and those put out all sorts of noxious stuff, including lots of carbon and lots of hydrogen chloride.

You have to keep the scale in mind though. Even a Starship launch only uses about a thousand tons of methane (most of its propellant by mass is liquid oxygen). Global consumption in 2021 was about 8 billion tons per day, just losses to leakage were several hundred thousand tons per day. All rocket launches together are in the rounding error of total emissions. In short, any effort spent on them is wasted, no matter how effective it could eliminate rocket emissions entirely and make no difference globally.


toodroot t1_iyt4jys wrote

Expelling methane into the atmosphere is illegal precisely because it's such a horrible greenhouse gas.

That's why it's flared, if it can't be used.


StevenK71 t1_iyq48wv wrote

You really should attend your highschool chemistry class, you know


SpaceInMyBrain t1_iyrh2s1 wrote

Now now. I attended my high school chemistry class and got an A+. However, that was decades ago and I relied on the kindness of strangers here to learn about CH₄ + 2 O₂ → CO₂ + 2 H₂O and also the Sabatier process, etc.


Aromatic_Armpits t1_iysg601 wrote

You should really get off your high horse and welcome people asking questions and trying to learn.


Chilkoot t1_iypzdp2 wrote

That's impressive. With reusability now a proven technology, everything new will be methane. I fully expected Raptor to be the first methalox engine to reach orbit.

I worry about companies like Firefly who have clung to kerolox and disposability. I guess we'll see where the market goes.


BrangdonJ t1_iyr5f4l wrote

Given how popular methane rockets are nowadays, it feels strange to me that none have yet made it to orbit. Hopefully by the end of the year two will have.


Shrike99 t1_iysev0g wrote

I mean it typically takes 5-10 years for a new rocket to come online, and methane only started getting popular circa 2016-17, so this is pretty on schedule.


Decronym t1_iyrzvux wrote

Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

|Fewer Letters|More Letters| |-------|---------|---| |H2|Molecular hydrogen| | |Second half of the year/month| |NG|New Glenn, two/three-stage orbital vehicle by Blue Origin| | |Natural Gas (as opposed to pure methane)| | |Northrop Grumman, aerospace manufacturer|

|Jargon|Definition| |-------|---------|---| |Raptor|Methane-fueled rocket engine under development by SpaceX| |Sabatier|Reaction between hydrogen and carbon dioxide at high temperature and pressure, with nickel as catalyst, yielding methane and water| |hydrolox|Portmanteau: liquid hydrogen fuel, liquid oxygen oxidizer| |kerolox|Portmanteau: kerosene fuel, liquid oxygen oxidizer| |methalox|Portmanteau: methane fuel, liquid oxygen oxidizer|

^(7 acronyms in this thread; )^(the most compressed thread commented on today)^( has 25 acronyms.)
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