Can we create fuel in space?

Can we create fuel in space?

Can we create fuel in space? You might be thinking, “Why would people want to do that?” This is an interesting question because many space applications require us to produce fuel and oxygen in weightless conditions. Only then can we launch these things into orbit. This article will discuss the possibility of creating fuel in space.

It's not just possible, it's happening.

A recent article in The New York Times described how NASA is developing fuel that could be used by astronauts to travel to Mars. In a nutshell: NASA is working with a company called NanoRacks, which builds "spacecraft-like" stations in orbit around Earth. One of those stations (called the International Space Station) has a large room where astronauts can experiment with different types of fuel.

The goal for NASA is to create fuel that can be stored for long periods of time and then used as needed. They're doing this because they want to be able to transport astronauts from Earth to other planets — perhaps even Mars — without having them carry any extra weight.

How fuel can be created in Space?

It's a new era of space exploration. In the future, people will be going to Mars and lunar missions in 2017. In order to explore the moon and Mars, rockets are used by rockets engines. But rockets are used in the space so how can we create fuel for rockets? So today I'll show you some science about how fuel can be created in Space.

1. Water

Water is the most abundant chemical element on Earth and is a key part of life. Water also plays a key role in space, as it is used for life support and for rocket engines.

Water can be created in space by using solar energy to split water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction requires light and heat, which are abundant in outer space. The hydrogen produced can then be used to create rocket fuel or fuel tanks for spacecrafts.

2. Sunlight

The sun is not a reactor, but it can make fuel. The sun gives off massive amounts of energy in the form of light and heat, which we know as sunlight.

The same process that gives us solar energy also makes fuel, as well. The hydrogen that is created by splitting water molecules by the power of light is freed up as fuel for rocket engines.

We use the sun's power to split water and make fuel. We collect up the free hydrogen and store it in giant tanks called Lagerweygas. Then, when we need more fuel, we release it to new rockets that blast off into space with brand new supplies.

3. Mercury

Yes, we can.

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, and also the most reflective. Mercury's extremely dry atmosphere makes it an excellent place to test new spacecraft technology.

The challenge with launching into space is that you have to launch your craft before it gets too far away from Earth. Once it gets too far away, it will be hard to get a signal back because of the time delay involved. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of your craft on one of Mercury's three natural satellites, but that's about it.

So how do we send things there? We send them in a high-velocity ejection from an interplanetary rocket, or perhaps from a solar sail if we could figure out how to make one large enough for our purposes.

4. Magnesium

In space, a fuel could be created by electrolysis of water. The main problem is that there is no oxygen in space and the process requires a lot of energy.

Magnesium is another element that can be used as a fuel but it can only be used in space for short periods due to its toxic properties.

Magnesium and water can be used to produce hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as a single-source fuel.

5. Aluminium and oxygen

The first material we need to make fuel in space is aluminium. We can't use metal because it would be too expensive to send up, so we'll use plastic instead.

The problem with using plastic is that it's not very efficient at generating energy. It only produces a few hundred watts of power per tonne of material, compared with around 2kW/t for aluminium.

So what do we do? We get rid of some of the oxygen, so that there's less to react with the aluminium pre-treatment. This makes things simpler and reduces costs further still.

A simple way to do this is by heating the aluminium in an oven at about 700°C for four hours.


Finding cheap space based technology for the production of fuels and energy has been an ongoing concern for some time. Space exploration is problematic in this regard because mass to propulsion is required, which can prevent even the simplest of functional missions from going underway. Not only could this technology work, it may be cheaper as well. This is just the kind of innovation that space exploration needs, which may lead to a wealth of discoveries including answers to mankind's energy problems.


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