One of the biggest constraints in space travel is the unforgiving tyranny of the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. Essentially, the more stuff you want to launch into space, the more power (eg fuel and thrust) you’ll need. While the SpaceX Starship is looking like an innovation that’ll lead to a cheaper trip to space, it still has one main weakness: it runs on chemical fuel. These chemicals are challenging to create, ship, store, pump, and use. A new wood-burning rocket has just been spotted and it could change the game for SpaceX and all other aerospace companies.
XForest is a new space startup that’s just emerged from stealth status. The company claims it’s able to launch a Falcon 9-sized rocket into Geostationary orbit through an innovative wood-burning furnace. This had been just a mad rumor until it was spotted over Rachel, New Mexico by a pair of locals whose house and village burned down from the falling ash and flames (as seen in their photo in the thumbnail of this article).
According to our sources, a typical XForest rocket engine will consume the equivalent of about 1,000 square miles of forest per minute during ascent.
The hardest part of making this renewable source of energy happen has been finding enough wood. The XForest team has been clear-cutting most of the Amazon and a large percentage of Alaska to have the right amount of wood for its maiden voyage. We’re told they’re also developing a way to shovel the wood into the rocket furnace at a speed that allows for efficient propulsion.
While there is a significant amount of wood required to make the engine reach full throttle, it’s an exciting innovation that we’ll keep track of.