APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

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APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Apr 06, 2023 4:05 am

Image Terran 1 Burns Methalox

Explanation: Relativity's Terran 1 Rocket is mostly 3D-printed. It burns a cryogenic rocket fuel composed of liquid methane and liquid oxygen (methalox). In this close-up of a Terran 1 launch on the night of March 22 from Cape Canaveral, icy chunks fall through the stunning frame as intense blue exhaust streams from its nine Aeon 1 engines. In a largely successful flight the inovative rocket achieved main engine cutoff and stage separation but fell short of orbit after an anomaly at the beginning of its second stage flight. Of course this Terran 1 rocket was never intended to travel to Mars. Still, the methane and liquid oxygen components of its methalox fuel can be made solely from materials found on the Red Planet. Methalox manufactured on Mars could be used as fuel for rockets returning to planet Earth.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by Ann » Thu Apr 06, 2023 4:34 am


Welllll.... Lotsa blue here! :shock:

I think I like it! :D

What else can I say? :?:

Ann
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Dr Olman

Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by Dr Olman » Thu Apr 06, 2023 10:05 am

Cool, literally!

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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by De58te » Thu Apr 06, 2023 11:25 am

This is a coincidence. Although no where near as bright or severe, I get the occasional blue flash like that out of my propane fork lift. I guess it needs a tune-up. It burns gaseous propane. (But I guess that is cryogenic as well because if you don't tighten the connecting hose line properly the leaking propane quickly covers the metal connector with a freezing white frost. Don't touch it with bare hands since it will give your skin a cold burn! You need thick leather gloves to tighten it!

The gaseous oxygen it burns with the propane I imagine is always room temperature though.

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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 06, 2023 1:25 pm

De58te wrote: Thu Apr 06, 2023 11:25 am This is a coincidence. Although no where near as bright or severe, I get the occasional blue flash like that out of my propane fork lift. I guess it needs a tune-up. It burns gaseous propane. (But I guess that is cryogenic as well because if you don't tighten the connecting hose line properly the leaking propane quickly covers the metal connector with a freezing white frost. Don't touch it with bare hands since it will give your skin a cold burn! You need thick leather gloves to tighten it!

The gaseous oxygen it burns with the propane I imagine is always room temperature though.
Propane is not cryogenic in consumer applications. Like any compressed gas, if it leaks too quickly the expanding gas can cool enough to locally condense and freeze water vapor in the surrounding air (seen as frozen fog) or cool the element that is leaking (seen as accumulating ice). Cryogenic gases are actively refrigerated.

Methane or propane that burns efficiently produces a blue flame. An orange flame indicated incomplete combustion.
Chris

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John The Old Tex Guy

Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by John The Old Tex Guy » Thu Apr 06, 2023 3:54 pm

Serious question - how much CO2 is created in one such launch?

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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Apr 06, 2023 4:09 pm

2023-03-22_Terran-1-GLHF_Kraus_thumb.jpg
Mmm; mm; mm! Looks hot, hot, hot!
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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 06, 2023 4:10 pm

John The Old Tex Guy wrote: Thu Apr 06, 2023 3:54 pm Serious question - how much CO2 is created in one such launch?
The combustion of 1 kg of methane produces 2.75 kg of CO2. So the short answer is "a lot". But it's quite a small amount compared with, say, commercial aviation, which itself is a fairly small part of the human carbon footprint. It's likely that the soot released in the upper atmosphere is the more serious environmental issue with rockets, and that's actually much lower for methane powered motors. Also, methane can be sourced from biological materials, which eliminates the problem of fossil fuel CO2.
Chris

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richardschumacher

Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by richardschumacher » Thu Apr 06, 2023 4:34 pm

In Mars' low gravity carbon monoxide + LOX is a perfectly adequate propellant system. There, it's easier to make carbon monoxide than methane because no hydrogen or complicated chemistry is needed. I expect that anyone intending to return from Mars will be testing their engines for burning CO.

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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by longtry » Fri Apr 07, 2023 2:06 am

I'm interested in the shapes under the nozzles. How did they form such specific shapes? Illustration-included answers will be much appreciated.

richardschumacher

Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by richardschumacher » Fri Apr 07, 2023 10:58 pm

longtry wrote: Fri Apr 07, 2023 2:06 am I'm interested in the shapes under the nozzles. How did they form such specific shapes? Illustration-included answers will be much appreciated.
Go ogle "shock diamonds". Wikipedia for one has a nice explanation.

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Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by longtry » Sun Apr 09, 2023 3:34 am

Wow thanks! A key word really opened an Alice-like rabbit hole. As an amateur, I find the literature about this stuff is somewhat limited and hard for outsiders to grasp with many big words thrown around. I have more questions reading it than getting answers. From my very basic understanding, the word 'shock' and 'Mach' implies "waves moving faster than sound speed", and since this is a rocket, supersonic is a given. Because the diamonds are quite fixed relative to the nozzle, there might be some standing waves involved. The big-small-big-small pattern of the flow kinda confirms this one. But that's where my understanding ends. Now the questions:
1. Standing waves usually require at least 2 interacting waves. In single-nozzle cases (not Terran, but normal aircraft), what are the waves?
2. In this Quora answer about CD nozzles, it is stated that "For subsonic flow, as the flow area gets smaller, the flow velocity goes up, and for supersonic flow, as the flow area gets larger, the flow velocity goes up." Huh? Why is that? What's so magical about the 'sonic' threshold that it can apparently reverse a physical principle?
3. Unlike many pictures of Mach diamonds which have the diamonds persist until near the end of the exhaust, Terran's only had about 2 layers of them. Does that mean the standing waves were broken down the line? What caused the turbulence in this case? The nozzles formation?
4. I had troubles following a YouTube explanation of the phenomenon, which has illustrations alright. So maybe I'll need someone else with a better skill at ELI5 to drill it into my head. Who do you think will be a good candidate? IMO Steve Mould is really good at making hard stuff easier to understand, but his favorite method is to build 2D versions of things, which perhaps won't be suitable for this kind of problem...?
In any cases, I did go ogle the beauty of it all :wink:

richardschumacher

Re: APOD: Terran 1 Burns Methalox (2023 Apr 06)

Post by richardschumacher » Wed Apr 12, 2023 1:54 am

Sorry, that's all I know about De Laval nozzles, supersonic flow, and fluid dynamics. Good luck!