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‘Stardust 1.0’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    9th Feb, 2021

Stardust 1.0, a rocket powered by bio-derived fuel successfully took off from former military base in Maine.

Context

Stardust 1.0, a rocket powered by bio-derived fuel successfully took off from former military base in Maine.

About

What is Stardust 1.0?

  • Stardust 1.0 is a launch vehicle suited for student and budget payloads.
  • The rocket is 20 feet tall and has a mass of roughly 250 kg.
  • Payloads: The rocket can carry a maximum payload mass of 8 kg and during its first launch carried three payloads. The payloads included:
    • a cubesat prototype built by highschool students
    • a metal alloy designed to lessen vibrations, which is developed by Kellogg’s Research Labs
    • a cubesat from software company Rocket Insights
  • Manufactured by: The rocket is manufactured by bluShift, an aerospace company based in Maine that is developing rockets that are powered by bio-derived fuels. Other rockets being developed by the company include
    • Stardust Gen. 2, Starless Rouge and Red Dwarf, which is a low-Earth orbit (LEO) vehicle and is designed to fly a maximum payload of 30 kg.

First to be powered by biofuel

  • Stardust 1.0 became the first commercial space launch powered by biofuel, which is non-toxic for the environment as opposed to traditionally used rocket fuels.
  • Though the biofuel used for the launch is not yet clear, but as per the reports it can be sourced from farms around the world.

Significance of the rocket

  • Cheaper and environment friendly: These rockets will help to launch small satellites called cubesats into space in a way that is relatively cheaper than using traditional rocket fuel and is less toxic for the environment.
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