U.K. to Unveil Eco-Friendly Space-Based Fuel Rocket for Space Exploration

19 Jan 2023

Recently launched SpaceX’s Falcon 9 emitted nearly 112 tonnes of refined kerosene and about 336 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). Moreover, greenhouse gases, including chlorine and aluminum oxide, are also some of the major concerns during the launch toward the environment. Thus, with vast quantities of fuel burnt up in a matter of minutes, lift-off is noticed to be the most harmful stage of any space mission for the environment. 

Potentially liquid hydrogen and oxygen are considered to be some greener options for space exploration, replacing current spacecraft fuels that are mostly based on fossil fuels. Keeping this in thought, the U.K. is preparing its hands over eco-friendly space-based fuels to be used in their rockets to enable greener space travel. 

Here’s the complete story. 

What is the aim of the U.K.’s eco-friendly rocket? 

Orbex, a private spaceflight company in the U.K., aims to launch small satellites into orbit using environment-friendly rocket technology. It is developing a rocket called Prime, which is powered by a biofuel made from non-toxic and renewable resources. 

This biofuel is said to have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to traditional rocket fuels and will also reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated during launch operations. Additionally, the Prime rocket is designed to be reusable, further reducing the environmental impact of launches.

The idea of an eco-friendly rocket in the U.K. likely came from a desire to reduce the environmental impact of space launches. Rockets traditionally use fossil fuels as their primary propulsion source, which can have a significant impact on the environment in terms of carbon emissions and air pollution. 

As awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change has grown, there has likely been increased interest in developing more sustainable alternatives to traditional rocket propulsion systems. This may have led to the idea of an eco-friendly rocket in the U.K., which would use cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, such as hydrogen or electric propulsion, to minimize its environmental impact.

What is the need for eco-friendly space-based fuel rockets?

The need for an eco-friendly rocket in space stems from the environmental impact of traditional rocket propulsion systems. Rockets that use fossil fuels, such as kerosene and hydrogen peroxide, as their primary propulsion source can release significant amounts of carbon emissions and pollutants into the atmosphere. This can contribute to air pollution and climate change, as well as have negative effects on the health of local communities near launch sites.

Additionally, the use of traditional rocket propulsion systems also contributes to the space debris problem, as discarded rocket stages and other debris can remain in orbit for decades, posing a risk to operational satellites and the International Space Station.

Eco-friendly rockets, on the other hand, can use cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, such as hydrogen or electric propulsion, which can reduce or eliminate carbon emissions and pollutants, making the launches more environment friendly. This can help to mitigate the negative effects of space launches on the environment and human health.

Moreover, as the demand for space launches is increasing rapidly, and with the development of new technologies such as satellite constellations and space tourism, it is becoming more important to have a sustainable and eco-friendly way of launching rockets into space, to prevent overusing the Earth's resources and to ensure that the space industry remains environmentally responsible.

What are the key technological trends in the global space-based fuel management system market?

With the rise in the deployment of electric propulsion, the overall propulsion architecture onboard satellites are evolving. Moreover, the demand from the growing commercial industry has been witnessed by the ecosystem of the space-based fuel management system market, which comprises system manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and end users. 

According to the BIS Research report, the global space-based fuel management system market is estimated to reach $45.12 billion in 2032 from $22.22 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 1.58% during the forecast period 2022-2032. 

The development of more advanced propulsion systems is one of the key technological trends in the global space-based fuel management system market. This includes the use of hydrogen and electric propulsion systems, which are considered to be more environment friendly and sustainable than traditional fossil fuel-based systems.

Moreover, the miniaturization of fuel management systems makes them more compact and lightweight, making them more suitable for use in small satellites and other space-based applications. The industry is also witnessing the development of autonomous systems that can monitor and control fuel usage in space-based applications without human intervention.

The market is observing advancements in sensors and monitoring technologies, which are increasingly being used to provide real-time data on fuel usage and consumption, allowing for more efficient and accurate fuel management.

With the increasing demand for long-duration missions in deep space, there is a trend towards the development of hybrid systems that combine different types of propulsion systems, such as chemical and electric, to improve the performance and efficiency of fuel management.


Developing international standards and regulations for the use of space-based fuel management systems can help to ensure that they are used in an environment friendly and sustainable manner. Moreover, investment in research and development in eco-friendly fuels and propulsion systems can also help to further reduce the environmental impact of space launches and make space-based applications more sustainable.

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