Firefly Space Systems is to begin designing and advancing the next-generation of cleaner burning rockets. The company has joined the Autodesk® Cleantech Partner Program, which supports the work of cleantech innovators by providing qualified companies with Digital Prototyping software to help them design, visualise and simulate their ideas. It allows companies to test multiple concepts and reduce costly errors, thus allowing them to get to market faster.
Firefly’s rockets will use LNG, making them more environmentally friendly and efficient than conventional rocket engines. The company is currently building the world’s lowest-cost, small satellite delivery system.
The liquid oxygen and LNG used in Firefly rockets is incapable of spilling, as it spontaneously evaporates when exposed to ambient conditions. As such, Firefly rockets pose no environmental threat from propellant spills, unlike kerosene-fuelled vehicles.
Firefly’s mission to deploy reusable rockets also reduces the need to build dedicated new rockets for every flight, thereby reducing the amount of materials required as well as manufacturing waste. The airframe of the vehicle will be made entirely of carbon and organic compounds, unlike current vehicles that are constructed from rare and expensive metals.
The rockets will provide low-cost launch for the small satellite market, which is growing vigorously for the purpose of earth observation to monitor how and why climate change occurs. It will also facilitate the production of additional data for analytical atmospheric models, used to better understand future trends in climate change.
Adapted from press release by Callum O'Reilly
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/small-scale-lng/05092014/lng-out-of-this-world-1353/