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To the moo-n: this start-up is trying to fuel a rocket engine with cow manure

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on EuroNews or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Interstellar Technologies, a Japanese startup, has successfully tested a rocket engine powered by biofuel made from cow dung
• This innovation marks a potential new chapter for Japan's space industry, which has faced several setbacks in recent years

🔭 The context: The company teamed up with Air Water, an industrial gas producer, to develop this eco-friendly fuel
• The recent test involved a 10-second launch of the engine prototype, demonstrating the viability of biomethane as a rocket fuel

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Using cow dung-derived biomethane for rocket fuel could significantly reduce the environmental impact of space launches
• This approach aligns with global efforts to find sustainable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, which accounts for 14% of global emissions

⏭️ What's next: Interstellar Technologies aims to use this biofuel for frequent small rocket launches, potentially for satellite deployment
• The success of this technology could inspire similar eco-friendly initiatives in the space industry worldwide

💬 One quote: "We are trying to build small rockets that can be launched frequently, not just once. In this sense, making fuel with low environmental impact means we can build a rocket with low environmental impact. In this way, we can build a new generation rocket system” (Takahiro Inagawa, Interstellar Technologies CEO)

📈 One stat: One participating farm produces over 40 tonnes of cow dung daily, demonstrating the substantial potential for biomethane production for rocket fuel

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