Mars McLOX Rocket Propulsion System

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$69,951.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNM06AA62C
Agency Tracking Number:
053412
Solicitation Year:
2005
Solicitation Topic Code:
X7.02
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215-5516
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
120561456
Principal Investigator:
Robert Zubrin
Principal Investigator
(303) 980-0890
zubrin@aol.com
Business Contact:
Robert Zubrin
Business Official
(303) 980-0890
zubrin@aol.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The Methane and Carbon Monoxide/LOX rocket (MCLOX) is a technology for accomplishing ascent from Mars. Current Mars in-situ propellant production (ISPP) technologies produce methane and carbon monoxide in various combinations, but with neither generally produced in pure form. While separation and purification of methane fuel is possible, it adds complexity to the propellant production process and discards an otherwise useful fuel product. The MCLOX makes such complex and wasteful processes unnecessary by burning the methane/CO mixtures produced by Mars ISPP systems without further refinement. Despite the decrease in rocket specific impulse caused by CO admixture, the improvement offered by concomitant increased propellant density provides a net improvement in stage performance, and this mission advantage is amplified further by the increase of the total amount of propellant produced and the decrease in mass and complexity of the required ISPP plant. For these reasons the development of the MCLOX rocket is important to achieve maximum benefit from Mars ISPP systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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