Green rocket safety

A Cheshire space tourism company is developing a hybrid rocket engine that uses environmentally friendly propellants for a safety system on its commercial rockets.


A Cheshire space tourism company is developing a hybrid rocket engine that uses environmentally friendly propellants for a safety system on its commercial rockets.



The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) awarded Starchaser Industries a £130,730 Grant for Research and Development (GRAND) to develop ‘green’ propellants, producing virtually no harmful emissions.



The company, headed by SalfordUniversity lecturer Steve Bennett, is developing the technology to be used as a recovery system to ensure the safe retrieval of astronauts.


The concept combines hydrogen peroxide with solid fuel made from waste materials to make a much safer fuel.



Bennett said: ‘The development of an eco-friendly rocket motor system that can be employed to safeguard the lives of astronauts will showcase the very best of British endeavour and innovation.


‘This project will provide new opportunities and will demonstrate key technologies that will help open the frontier of space for all.’



Mark Hughes, executive director for enterprise and skills at the NWDA, said: ‘Innovation is crucial to the region’s global competitiveness and is at the heart of the UK’s drive to build and sustain a knowledge economy.


‘The application of leading-edge technologies, such as those demonstrated by Starchaser, helps companies develop new markets, increase exports and generate additional jobs for the region.’