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Elephants as rocket fuel

26 Apr 2016, 14:29 UTC
Elephants as rocket fuel
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To demonstrate how much rocket fuel it takes to get to orbit, YouTube user Maxim Sachs created an animation that replaces standard fuel components such as RP-1, LH2 and LOX with Asian elephants. I didn't check his math but I also didn't count the elephants. The folks at Yahoo/finance took this further by making an infographic comparing the New Shepard, Mercury Atlas, Titan 2 and Falcon 9 to the Saturn V. For a few milliseconds, I wanted to create a similar diagram for hobby motors. Then I realised that I'd have to compute the mass of generalized chunks of elephant flesh, which would not be recognizable on an infographic. I'm glad that crazy thought didn't last long.

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