Science.-Space X wants to produce rocket fuel with CO2 from the atmosphere

08-27-2021 Climeworks facilities ECONOMY POLICY CLIMEWORKS


Elon Musk, president and CEO of Space X, has announced a program to remove CO2 from the atmosphere – whose emissions favor the greenhouse effect – and use it to power spacecraft.

“SpaceX is launching a program to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into rocket fuel,” Musk tweeted. Using carbon dioxide to power space travel “will also be important for Mars,” he added in a later comment. The announcement comes shortly after being named Person of the Year by Time magazine.

The new initiative to make rocket fuel would be based on one type of technology, direct air capture (DAC), which is still in its early stages of development. The world’s largest DAC plant, a facility in Iceland powered by Climeworks, began operating in September and will take 4,000 tonnes per year from the air, roughly double the world’s previous DAC capacity.

SpaceX, which has become a launch service provider for clients like NASA, is developing rockets for deep space travel that could send humans to Mars. Musk said in 2020 that he was confident that a manned mission to the red planet could take place in 2026.

Musk, the world’s richest man thanks to the popularity of his electric vehicle maker, Tesla Inc., said in January that he would donate $ 100 million for an award for best carbon capture technology, Bloomberg reports.

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