- Stardust 1.0 was launched on Jan 31st from Loring Commerce Centre in Maine, US.
- It has become the first commercial space launch powered by biofuel.
- Stardust 1.0 is a launch vehicle suited for student and budget payloads.
- The rocket is manufactured by bluShift, an aerospace company based in Maine that is developing rockets that are powered by bio-derived fuels.
- The rocket is 20 feet tall and has a mass of roughly 250 kg.
- The rocket can carry a maximum payload mass of 8 kg and during its first launch carried three payloads.
- Such efforts are a part of a growing number of commercial space companies that are working to provide easier and cheaper access to space to laypeople.
- It also makes access to space cost-effective for purposes of academic research, corporate technology development and entrepreneurial ventures among others.
- Any hydrocarbon fuel that is produced from an organic matter (living or once living material) in a short period of time (days, weeks, or even months) is considered a biofuel.
- Biofuels may be solid, liquid or gaseous in nature.
- Examples of Biofuels are
- Solid: Wood, dried plant material, and manure.
- Liquid: Bioethanol and Biodiesel.
- Gaseous: Biogas.
- The two most common kinds of biofuels in use today are
- It represents first generation of biofuel technology.
- It is renewable and made from different kinds of plant materials.
- It also represents first generation of biofuel technology.
- It is produced by combining alcohol with new and used vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled cooking grease.
Generation of Biofuel
- First-generation biofuels
- First-generation biofuels are made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats using conventional technology.
- Common first-generation biofuels include Bioalcohols, Biodiesel, Vegetable oil, Bioethers, Biogas.
- Second-generation biofuels
- These are produced from non-food crops, such as cellulosic biofuels and waste biomass (stalks of wheat and corn, and wood).
- Examples include advanced biofuels like biohydrogen, bioethanol.
- Third-generation biofuels
- These are produced from micro-organisms like algae.