Skyrora tested innovative environmentally friendly fuel Ecosene
Skyrora has tested an innovative high-grade fuel made from waste plastics designed to minimise the environmental impact of rocket launch on a 3D printed rocket engine.
The fuel has been called Ecosene, and RP-1 rocket fuel equivalent that produces 45 percent less greenhouse gas than traditional Kerosene.
The fuel is particularly suited to cope with the potential weather problems or delays that could affect Scottish launch sites as it does not require cryogenic freezing and can be stored for a long period of time.
The fuel goes through a two-step process which transforms the previous landfill waste into useable fuel to help place earth observation satellites into orbit to monitor the United Nations sustainability development goals.
Skyrora conducted multiple 30-second test firings of its engine throughout the week, initially using Kerosene before switching to the new Ecosene fuel to compare the two fuel sources in terms of performance.
The tests will allow Skyrora to assess the capabilities of the engine, with its ability to restart making it suitable as an orbital manoeuvring unit or space tug. This could enable a range of tasks, from space debris removal to aiding in a moon mission.
These tests have been a crucial way for Skyrora to demonstrate the real scientific credentials underpinning their work. The tests were crucial in unlocking the transformative potential Ecosene holds for the company and the entire space sector.
The 3D printed LEO engine will be used in the upper stage of the Skyrora XL launch vehicle which stands at 22 metres tall and capable of taking small payloads up into orbit.