Weird Science: This Video About The Most Dangerous Rocket Fuels Ever Tested Is Cool

Weird Science: This Video About The Most Dangerous Rocket Fuels Ever Tested Is Cool

Rocket science may be well above our intellectual pay grade around here but we still love learning about it. The fuels used to power rockets have ranged from the mundane (ethanol) to the downright insane (hydrazine) and there’s not a lot of middle ground. Believe it or not, there have been things used to power rockets that make hydrazine look like bath water.

This video uses a book called “Ignition” as its reference. The book was written by a rocket engineer who tested, tried, and dealt with lots of this stuff during the golden age of American rocket exploration. There were few, if any things that were off-limits and some of the ideas that were considered and tested (like injecting Mercury into the rocket’s exhaust) never left the test pad.

Science is fascinating and the obvious crossover that we love is the fact that drag racers got into the rocketry liquor cabinet a time or two back in the 1960s by futzing around with hydrazine. In so many ways, the ideas behind developing rockets mirrored a lot of how race cars and technology advanced. There were people with grand ideas and others with the ability to actually try to implement them. This discussion on insane fuels is proof of the fact that like racers, engineers would try anything once just to see if it worked.

This is wild!

Press play to see this cool video that talks about the most dangerous rocket fuels!

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2 thoughts on “Weird Science: This Video About The Most Dangerous Rocket Fuels Ever Tested Is Cool

  1. Pete 231

    Scott Manly knows of what he speaks. First prerequisite of a rocket fuel scientist is a good pair of running shoes. Read the book to find out why. Some of the stuff these guys were messing with had the ability to explode with no warning regardless of what day of the week it was. There were fuels that involved fluorine and other really evil compounds that would dissolve human flesh and bones in addition to being rather unstable. Good book with lots of info to peruse. Using hydrazine as a fuel is akin to pulling the pin on a grenade and holding it in your hand. Some of the first US satellites in orbit were dragster engines using hydrazine.

  2. MGBChuck

    GOOD STUFF! I haul chemicals around the SF bay area, Ca. to labs, Hospitals, a lot of Hydrogen Peroxide (had 1500lbs. in the truck yesterday). It’s pretty freaky how I have to separate and treat some of the stuff I carry, SAFETY above all else! (have had fluorine, liquid Mercury, all kinds of Ethanol/Methanol, Ketone,Acetone, all kinds of acids, Etc.) in my truck one time or another.

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