Stardust 1.0 biofuel rocket: History was slated in Maine, US, on January 31 this year when the Stardust 1.0 rocket was launched from the former military base, the Loring Commerce Centre. The launch of Stardust 1.0 became the first commercial space launch in the global history that was run by biofuel. This is significant because biofuel is not harmful to the environment, as against the traditional rocket fuels. While the major highlight was a rocket running on biofuel, for Maine, this was another historical event because it marked the first commercial rocket launch that the US state has witnessed.
Here’s everything you need to know about Stardust 1.0.
Stardust 1.0: The budget payload rocket
According to a report in IE, Stardust 1.0 is a 20-feet-tall rocket, with a mass of about 250 kg and it is suitable for student and budget payload, with an ability to carry a payload of maximum 8 kg. In the first launch, Stardust 1.0 carried three payloads, including a cubesat prototype that highschool students had built, Kellogg’s Research Labs-developed metal alloy which has been designed to lessen the vibrations, and a cubesat which was designed by Rocket Insights, a software company.
Maine-based aerospace company bluShift manufactured Stardust 1.0, which it had been working on since its inception in 2014. The company, headed by CEO Sascha Deri, works on developing rockets that would run in bio-derived fuels.
The report added that rockets like this one would aid in launching cubesats, or small satellites, into space at a much cheaper cost, using a fuel which is much better for the environment than the traditional rocket fuels.
bluShift is also working on other rockets like Stardust Gen 2, Red Dwarf, which has been designed to fly with a maximum payload of 30 kg and is a low-Earth orbit vehicle, as well as Starless Rouge.
Accommodating mini payloads makes it easier for not just experienced researchers but even students to access space.
bluShift is not the only company working on making this access easier, however. Business mogul Jeff Bezos has a space company named Blue Origin, which is also working to make commercial entry into space and make access to the universe outside the Earth cheaper and easier for common people, along with making it cost-effective for academicians, researchers and entrepreneurial ventures.
Biofuel used for the launch
bluShift has not given much details about the composition of the biofuel it used to power the launch of Stardust 1.0, but several reports have said that such a fuel can be sourced from farms across the globe. A report in Politico also quoted the CEO as saying that the substances used in the biofuel can be obtained from any farm in the United States, and the fuel is non-toxic to the environment.