Kerosene: then and now

Ok, maybe it’s just us – but we like the idea that the same fuel our great-great-grandparents used in their oil lamps in the 19th century – is being used in our rockets today in the 21st century.  Yes, kerosene is still hard at work after all these years.

Case in point, the latest SpaceX launch.  The power behind (well, technically “under”) the first stage of that launch?  Nine Merlin 1D engines – fueled with liquid oxygen and – kerosene.

And in a nutshell, that’s the history of the fuels produced from oil:  we keep finding new ways to use familiar fuels, and better ways to use existing fuels – like kerosene, making the transition from lighting up a log cabin at night – to lighting up the night sky on the way to the stars.

By the way, if you’d like to see this particular “lighting up the night”, here’s the SpaceX video of the launch.  Space nerds (and you know who you are) may want to watch the entire show – but if you’re, ummm, like most of us – you might want to start with the actual launch, which comes at 14 minutes into the video.

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