NASA tests methane-powered rocket engine
Solar Voyager : Current Events in Space Exploration

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  megear1

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Cosmic Enigma
Cosmic Enigma

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Posted: 2007-May-07 at 5:33pm | IP Logged Quote megear1

We're still waiting for the anti-matter stardrive...

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/04may_methaneblast.h tm?list107411

Mark

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  Carina

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Planetary Explorer
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Posted: 2007-May-08 at 10:47am | IP Logged Quote Carina

Could methane really be "harvested" from Titan? It seems like there would be a danger in  blowing the whole thing up!
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  megear1

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Posted: 2007-May-08 at 7:40pm | IP Logged Quote megear1

Good question.

Some of the sci-fi I've read has discussed using gas giants and such as refueling stations. It is theoretically possible, but the ship would have to be capable of processing and refining the gasses, maybe 'on the fly'. That is a pretty sophisticated operation to undertake. (Maybe a refinery ship to process the gas?)

I can't imagine 'swooping' in to the upper atmosphere and scooping up a full tank of methane would be possible even in the next 100 years, but you never know what you can do until you must.

How much methane does Titan have? It's certainly more reachable and accessible than Jupiter or Saturn. Would it be possible to deplete the methane in Titan's atmosphere? (Prelude to terraforming?) Lots of possibilities...

Mark



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  Sentient Seas

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Posted: 2007-May-09 at 4:32am | IP Logged Quote Sentient Seas

Yes, there are infinite possibilities in space exploration, hopefully more extensive research on this topic will be considered on the part of those involved.


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  victoru

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Posted: 2007-June-27 at 6:59am | IP Logged Quote victoru

Carina wrote:
Could methane really be "harvested" from Titan? It seems like there would be a danger in  blowing the whole thing up!


In the absence of oxigen it's impossible to blow the surface up. And about terraforming a methane less Titan I think it's quite impossible because of the low temperature of the moon. Remind it's a body orbiting Jupiter quite far away from the sun.

I think of nuclear fussion engines as a temporary solution until a new source of power is developed. Something related to distorting space. But this is Sci-Fi just now.
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