Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
If your car is a diesel, it will run. Liquid hydrogen, the fuel that powered the space shuttle’s main engines, could work, says Manuel Martinez-Sanchez, an aeronautics and astronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But keeping hydrogen liquid requires maintaining it at a temperature below about -432°F. Storing it in a garage would be tricky, as would keeping it from freezing the engine.
RP-1 would work even better. A kerosene fuel developed in the 1950s as a more efficient alternative to alcohol-based rocket fuels, RP-1 powered the Soyuz and Falcon 9 spacecrafts. “It’s a close relative of diesel fuel, so there is no real problem using it in diesel engines,” Martinez-Sanchez says. “The only special thing about RP-1 is a lower volatility and a higher viscosity, so the engine might not run well on cold days,” he says.
RP-1 probably isn’t worth the trouble, though. Rocket fuel is less efficient than gas, and it wouldn’t even make a car go any faster.
This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Popular Science magazine.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.