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Three government agencies now investigating the safety of methane-fueled rockets

We’re here to help you! It appears that three different federal agencies have been tasked to investigate the safety of methane-fueled rockets, which SpaceX, Relativity, Blue Origin, and others are beginning to use for their rockets. It burns cleaner and with more power than kerosene and is easier to handle than hydrogen.

Yet, the federal government under Biden now seems worried a new innovation in rocketry is being developed. First, the FAA is studying the explosive potential of such rockets, according to Brian Rushforth, the manager of the innovation division.

The FAA has set up a test stand at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. A crane 43 meters tall will be used to drop stainless steel containers containing mixtures of LOX and methane. A series of tests is planned to start in June on three-week intervals to measure the explosive power of that propellant combination. A second phase, tentatively scheduled for next year, will conduct similar tests with varying velocities. He said the data from those tests will be shared with other government agencies, such as NASA and the U.S. Space Force, along with launch vehicle developers.

Meanwhile, NASA and the Space Force are jointly doing a separate study on how methane-fueled rockets threaten the launch range and other nearby launchpads.

In all three cases it can be argued that these studies make sense. It also can be argued that the Biden administration is putting pressure on these agencies to find ways to squelch this new technology, especially because it is central to the development of SpaceX’s Superheavy/Starship rocket, and there is real hostility in Democrat/leftist circles to Elon Musk. This latter argument is further strengthened when you consider the explosive possibilities of hydrogen fuel, used by the space shuttle for decades as well as NASA’s SLS rocket. I can’t imagine its danger is less than methane. If hydrogen has been determined to be okay why should methane now be considered a threat?

Either way, we can be sure of one thing: These studies will slow down development by SpaceX and others of these new methane-fueled rockets. They will also provide ammunition for outside environmental groups who want to file further lawsuits against these companies to stop their rockets from launching.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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  • Methane is a ‘greenhouse gas’.

  • Steve Richter

    I am getting more optimistic that they cannot stop SpaceX. They got approval for the April launch and the worst that happened was the concrete shower and flight termination explosion was too slow. Both of those problems are being adequately addressed. And SpaceX has brought on board a former high ranking NASA female executive. Nelson seems to really want to claim success at landing Americans back on the moon.

    From the point of view of the democrats who want to stop Elon, you have to get past the women who are running SpaceX, Nelson who wants people on the moon, the FAA does not have a leader, and Biden needs all democrats on board as the republicans are winning the fight on debt extension.

  • Alex Andrite

    but … but …
    where will all the cows be kept ?

  • Robert Pratt

    I read that FAA study and it was clear from the quotes that they have no actual reason to do the study other than that they just want to do so. My take was that they want to find, create?, something they can use to extort SpaceX and others with. That is what much of this type of regulation is, extortion by the political class.

  • Robert Pratt: Can you email me that study? Or direct me to a link?

  • Max

    Robert Pratt has this right, this is an exercise in the best way of performing extortion.

    After 40 years of earth observation satellites, no greenhouse effect has been observed or discovered despite huge sums of money as a reward for the discovery. The greenhouse theory has no substantiating evidence.
    The current measurements of methane in the atmosphere is 1.8 ppm… that is very close to zero! If it wasn’t for rotting vegetation constantly replenishing, methane would be unmeasurable. (helium is 4 parts per million)
    You see, methane oxidizes on contact with oxygen turning into carbon dioxide and water. Your local natural gas company has meticulous experimentation on how long a methane leak takes to neutralize depending on air temperature. Unlike propane, natural gas is lighter than air and quickly rises and is neutralized.
    Cows are not a factor in all this, they have no carbon footprint. Should you remove cows and all animals from this planet, all of the food they would have eaten will rot on the ground come winter time and turn into methane anyway… just like the leaves do every fall.

    There are three major sources of methane;
    1- Anaerobic bacteria (not cows or any animal, fish or plant)
    2- The action of continental drift… heat and pressure on water and lime stone / calcium carbonate fossils (fossil fuel) which makes up 10% of the crust of the earth.
    3- coronal mass ejections from the sun, (aurora borealis) burning with millions of tons of fresh methane and ammonia causing ocean levels to rise a few inches per century.

    I remember when carbon dioxide went over 400 ppm for the first time, it was in the Arctic just after a double solar storm referred to as the perfect storm. Dazzling northern lights that lit up the sky for days.

  • Evil Incarnate

    Have the currently-used technologies undergone similar testing? If not, it’s nothing more than a bureaucratic maneuver designed to create an obstacle.

  • A crane 43 meters tall will be used to drop stainless steel containers containing mixtures of LOX and methane.

    Containers built by whom? To what standards?

    This is just our government saying, “Bye, Elon, don’t let the boom gate hit you in the ass on the way out.” Space-X will be fine; it will just be a non-US company, which is sad to me, but it is what it is.

  • Star Bird

    What ever became of the O-Zone Hole and Radon Gas?

  • pzatchok

    If they shut down Space X it will not move to some other nation. The government will never allow it.
    And if they shut down Space X the government will also lose access to the rockets and technology. All of it. No more manned flights to the ISS.

    As for the ozone hole. They found out it was caused more by the sun and less by man made chemicals.
    It comes and goes all on its own accord. At times its gone entirely and at times its bigger than Antarctica.

    Radon was always a fake scare. What stops it from coming out of the ground instead of in your basements? If your worried about it just open a window.

  • markedup2

    All the more reason to leave _before_ being shutdown, yes? The Feds losing access to the tech is a feature, not a bug.

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