Author Topic: Hybrid rockets on Mars  (Read 343 times)

Online whitelancer64

Hybrid rockets on Mars
« on: 03/21/2019 04:03 pm »
I just had what may be an interesting idea, since Mars is known to have perchlorates on its surface, would it be useful for Martian settlers to develop hybrid rockets with a solid oxidizer (perchlorate) with a liquid fuel? Presumably the fuel would be methane.

What types of perchlorates are on Mars, and are they useful for such an application? I have no idea how efficient such a hybrid rocket would be, but it would eliminate the need for liquid oxygen.

I imagine it would probably be very difficult to get stable combustion, and the combustion byproducts might be hazardous to human health thanks to that chlorine atom.
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Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Hybrid rockets on Mars
« Reply #1 on: 03/21/2019 09:54 pm »
I just had what may be an interesting idea, since Mars is known to have perchlorates on its surface, would it be useful for Martian settlers to develop hybrid rockets with a solid oxidizer (perchlorate) with a liquid fuel? Presumably the fuel would be methane.

What types of perchlorates are on Mars, and are they useful for such an application? I have no idea how efficient such a hybrid rocket would be, but it would eliminate the need for liquid oxygen.

I imagine it would probably be very difficult to get stable combustion, and the combustion byproducts might be hazardous to human health thanks to that chlorine atom.

I don't think this would be a practical proposition. Extracting the hydrogen that is needed to manufacture methane would also produce a lot of the oxygen needed as a bi-product.

Not only that but extracting and purifying the perchlorates from Martin regolith would be a nightmare. IIRC Mostly Calcium perchlorate but also other perchlorates and other salts and compounds mixed in and in relatively low concentration. Sound like a whole lot of extensive wet chemistry involving filtration and fractional crystallization, drying, milling and then mixing with binders (and the rest) to make suitable propellant.

Not sure there would be any problems with the combustion products however as on Mars everyone would be inside in pressurised habitats.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2019 09:56 pm by Slarty1080 »
The first words spoken on Mars: "Humans have been wondering if there was any life on the planet Mars for many decades well ... there is now!"