Japan’s Space Industry Testing Rocket Engine Using Cow Dung Fuel

SPACE — Japan’s space industry has the potential to open a new chapter in spaceflight to the moon. On Thursday, December 7, 2023, they began testing a prototype rocket engine that uses pure fuel from an abundant local source: cow dung.

The experiment showed the engine emitting blue-orange flames 10-15 meters horizontally from an open hangar door for about 10 seconds in the northern rural town of Taiki. According to Interstellar Technologies Chief Executive Takahiro Inagawa, all the biomethane fluid needed is made from cow dung gas taken from two local dairy farms.

“We are doing this not only because it is good for the environment, but because it can be produced locally, is very cost-effective, and is a fuel with high performance and purity,” Inagawa told AFP.

Inagawa admits that it is not an exaggeration to assume that the use of cow dung will be replicated by the industrial community, and even governments throughout the world. “We are the first private company to do this,” he said.

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Currently, Interstellar is working with the industrial gas producer Air Water and hopes to soon be able to send satellites into space using this fuel. For the ingredients, they collaborate with local farmers who have equipment for processing cow dung into biogas. This material is then taken by Air Water and converted into rocket fuel.

“Resource-poor Japan must secure domestic production, now of carbon neutral energy,” said Tomohiro Nishikawa, an engineer at Air Water.

Tomohiro confirmed that raw materials from cows in the area have enormous potential. If there are changes in international affairs, it will be important for Japan to have its own energy sources.

The Japanese space agency (JAXA) launched the Moon Sniper mission last September. However, the sector has had problems with two previous failed missions, one government-owned and one private.

Also read: Japan begins operating the largest nuclear fusion reactor in the world

Japan has also experienced setbacks in its rocket launches, including an accident after the launch of the next generation H3 in March 2023. The Epsilon solid-fuel aircraft it has been relying on also had problems in October last year. In July, a test of the Epsilon S rocket, an improved version of the Epsilon, ended with an explosion 50 seconds after ignition.

Biogas derived from cow dung has been used as fuel throughout the world, including to run buses in the city of Indore, India. According to Greenpeace, the use of cow dung energy helps reduce huge environmental impacts. Because police vehicles are responsible for 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

One of the local breeders participating in this collaboration is Eiji Mizushita (58 years). He looks after around 900 dairy cows who collectively produce more than 40 tons of manure every day.

Also read: Japan’s sophisticated aircraft is still circling the moon, note its landing schedule

2023-12-07 22:44:00
#Cow #DungPowered #Rocket #Japan #Moon #Space #Space

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