Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lake Rocket Fuel

Recent radar images of Titan from NASA's Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft show dark patches that are being interpreted as "hydrocarbon lakes." At the temperature and pressure conditions of Titan, water would not be a liquid, but methane or ethane would be. Giant lakes of rocket fuel! Just touch down and fill the tanks! OK, maybe it's not that easy, and you still have to get your oxidizer somewhere unless you're flying a nuclear-thermal rocket or something. But it's still a pretty amazing image and idea.

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