Vaya Space is using recycled plastics to fuel their orbital launch vehicles. The eco-friendly propulsion system is called STAR-3D, a hybrid rocket engine using a solid rocket motor controlled and throttled by a liquid oxidizer.
STAR-3D™ technology is fueled by 3D printed thermoplastics which can be sourced and produced entirely from recycled plastics. This recycled material is also non-explosive, making it an ideal “greener” and safer alternative to traditional rocket fuels. The solid thermoplastic only becomes high-energy fuel when combined with liquid oxidizer and ignited. Both are non-toxic and non-hazardous at ambient temperatures. This means it’s much safer, and only acts like a rocket under the right conditions. And, there's no shortage of materials for Vaya Space use.
Plastic is inexpensive, readily available, and versatile, with properties that make it ideal for many applications, even rocket fuel. However, these qualities have also resulted in it becoming an environmental issue.
Millions of tons of plastic waste now litter our planet and choke our landfills, with at least ten million tons entering our oceans each year, endangering wildlife, and contaminating our food chain. One in three fish consumed by humans are now contaminated with micro-plastics. It is estimated that the average human will ingest over 40 pounds of plastic in their lifetime.
Global annual production of plastics exceeds 380 million tons, with half of all plastics produced today designed for disposable single use, to be used just once and then thrown away. Unfortunately, less than 9% of plastics are recycled.
How can you help? Join Vaya Space in committing to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics. Remember that our land and sea are connected and keep our beaches clean. Volunteer to pick up litter. Get involved and participate in cleanups in your local community.
About Vaya Space: Vaya Space is a hybrid rocket propulsion and SmallSat launch company leveraging advances in additive manufacturing to redefine the cost, performance, and safety of space access. With a build, integrate, and launch-ready cycle of less than 30 days, Vaya Space is capable of launching payloads greater than 1,000 kg into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and payloads greater than 600 kg into Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Positioned to serve the global market, Vaya Space is now accepting launch reservations for 2023.