Bletchley-based nuclear fusion company Pulsar Fusion recently successfully tested a plastic waste-powered rocket engine at COTEC, a Ministry of Defense military base in Salisbury.
A Mail Online report said the British company that conducted the test on November 18 to 18 was led by a former Made in Chelsea star.
The company's CEO, 35-year-old Richard Dinan, who was part of the third series of Made in Chelsea in 2012, admitted he dined with Prince Harry before due to his reported "royal connections."
Essentially, plastic-powered rocket engines could be utilized for various applications, including launching humans and satellites, Pulsar Fusion said in a statement.
Travel Time to Mars Reduced in Half
The company's ultimate ambition is to generate a hyper-speed propulsion engine using nuclear fusion technologies for space or intergalactic trips, which could shorten or reduce the time of travel to Mars in half.
It is presently working on a model nuclear fusion reactor designed to develop a plasma hotter compared to the sun's surface.
A week ago, the test carried out exhibited "impressive and visual plume effects" like the formation of standing wave patterns, also known as supersonic shock diamonds, which are typical of a "high-temperature rocket exhaust," this report specified.
The current statistic test will be succeeded by an international demonstration for space clients on November 25, to be held in Switzerland.
Describing the British firm, Dinan said it is among the few companies worldwide to have constructed and tested the said technologies.
He added they have a team of "fantastic scientists" with ample experience "to thank for these milestones. Furthermore, he also said, they have drawn talent for some of the top universities of the United Kingdom, who have started to work with and test the company's plasma thrusters at campus facilities.
A 'Hybrid' Rocket Engine
The rocket engine of Pulsar Fusion is hybrid. This means it uses rocket propellants in two different phases, one solid phase and the other, either a liquid or gas phase.
The so-called "green rocket" is run by HDPE or high-density polyethylene, which can be acquired from the process of recycling or nitrous oxide. The said two fuels are burning together to generate a non-toxic plume.
Essentially, the HDPE, detailed on the BYJU'S website, can be found in recycled plastic material so items can be employed and recycled to generate a powerful but non-toxic rocket fuel.
Dinan also explained hybrid engines could run on recycled plastic while liquid engines cannot. More so, he added, in terms of toxicity, it is very clean.
Plastic bottles and other waste can be melted down and formed into cylinder blocks that are loaded into the rocket before every firing, explained Dinan.
Pulsar Fusion was awarded the UK government funding in September last year to develop further its "hall effect thruster" plasma satellite engines, with 12.5 miles per second particle exhaust speeds for a capacity.
Such Pulsar thrusters have recently been tested at Harwell's facilities, where they endured 20 grams of vibration, activating a rocket launch.
This ultimate milestone of the firm is to generate a hyper-speed propulsion engine for interplanetary travel through nuclear fusion technologies to materialize in just four years.
Specifically, by 2025, Pulsar Fusion aims to have developed nuclear fusion propulsion engines specifically for static demonstration.
Related information about the testing the rocket engine is shown on TrendPiler's YouTube video below: