Re: indigenous fuels

Doug Jones (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 07:05:46 -0700

I've read the papers by the guy who did the Al/LOX gel experiments.

That sucker is crazy, and blessed with incredible luck. There's no clear indication of why the samples didn't explode (these were quartz tubes filled with Al powder, and LOX added remotely).

Now, molten aluminum (with a bit of sodium or magnesium alloyed to lower the melting point and improve ignition) should be hypergolic with LOX. A preheated injector face and an ablative chamber should work pretty well... wrote:
> Spike Jones [] wrote:
> >Ya, but our chances of making indigenous fuels muuuuch better
> >on Mars than on the moon. The moon is both carbon
> >poor and hydrogen poor.
> As of a couple of years ago the leading contendor was a mixture of aluminum
> powder and liquid oxygen; it's not very efficient, but good enough to get
> you to lunar orbit and/or heading back to Earth with a reasonable mass
> ratio.
> Mark

Doug Jones, Freelance Rocket Plumber