ROCKETS

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research and NASA successfully launched a nine-foot rocket 1,300 feet over the skies of Indiana in late 2009 using an environmentally friendly, safe propellant composed of Aluminum powder and water ICE (ALICE). ALICE has the consistency of toothpaste when made and can be fit into molds and cooled to -30° C, 24 hours before flight. The concept has really taken off with researchers for several reasons. When optimized, ALICE could have a higher performance than conventional propellants; it can be used both for flight on Earth and in long-distance space missions; and it can theoretically be manufactured on distant planets – the moon or Mars, for example – instead of having to be transported to those distant locations.

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