Volume 87 Issue 48 | p. 32
Issue Date: November 30, 2009

For Ignition, Mix Metal And Ice

Nanoscale aluminum and ice blend sends rocket aloft
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: Propellant, Aluminum, Nanoparticle, Ice, ALICE

Steven F. Son has a surefire recipe for stress: Set up a costly and labor-intensive experiment you've never done before and then invite your sponsors to come and see it. That's the nerve-racking position the Purdue University mechanical engineering professor found himself in this past August as he stood in an Indiana field, hoping a 9-foot rocket would lift off.

As he watched the slim black rocket race 1,300 feet into the sky, . . .

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