Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Methane-powered rocket engine
What to study?
For Prelims: why methane? Benefits.
For Mains: Challenges ahead and ways to address them.
Context: ISRO is developing two ‘LOx methane’ engines (liquid oxygen oxidiser and methane fuel) engines.
Why use methane?
- Methane, which can be synthesised with water and carbon dioxide in space, is often described as the space fuel of the future.
- Unsymmetrical Di-Methyl Hydrazine, along with Nitrogen tetroxide for oxidiser, currently being used by ISRO, is said to be highly toxic and cancer-causing.
- Whereas Methane, apart from being non-toxic, has a higher specific impulse (which means one kg of the gas can life one kg of mass for a longer time), it is easy to store, does not leave a residue upon burning, less bulky, and, importantly, can be synthesised up in space.
Sources: the Hindu.