|Purpose||Mars Descent||Mars Ascent|
|Engines||9 Asterex||9 Asterex|
In 1790 Sam Hopkins invented an improved "apparatus and process" to make potash, a fertilizer. In the 1700's potash was a big deal and the main chemical product in the US.
On July 31 the same year, the 47-year-old was awarded patent number X1, the first patent ever awarded in United States.
It was undersigned by the newly elected President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.
Fast forward a few centuries. This week we filed a patent just like once old Sam, ours somewhat related even to his patent X1. Potash is potassium nitrate (KNO3), found in stump remover and it was a major ingredient when we synthesized a test batch of our rocket propellant last year - check this story.
To reach space a rocket must accelerate to extreme speeds. 7.4 km/s for Earth Orbit, the equivalent of traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 60 seconds!
For such speeds, potent rocket fuel is not enough. The propellants must also be injected into the engine at exceptionally high pressures.
Pythom's propulsion patent is for a new, improved system delivering high pressure to the engine. If tests work out we'll be able to achieve pressure levels of Falcon 9, but at significantly lower cost and weight.
The patent application is under wraps right now, but we'll release test results as they arrive.
Interestingly, our invention came from another planet. We had been working on a propulsion system for our Mars lander when the DARPA challenge came about. Forced to think differently, although designed for other physics, the Mars propulsion solution inspired a new system for the earth.
|Body T C||37.1||37.0|