Madrid, 14 (European Press)
Elon Musk, President and CEO of Space X, has announced a program to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — whose emissions favor the greenhouse effect — and use it to power spacecraft.
“SpaceX is launching a program to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into rocket fuel,” Musk wrote on Twitter. In a later comment, he added, using CO2 to power spaceflight “would also be important to Mars.” The announcement comes shortly after he was named Person of the Year by Time magazine.
The new initiative to produce rocket fuel will be based on one type of technology, direct air capture (DAC), which is still in its early stages of development. The world’s largest DAC plant, a facility in Iceland backed by Climeworks, started operating in September and will take 4,000 tons per year of air, nearly double the world’s previous DAC capacity.
SpaceX, which has become a launch service provider for clients like NASA, is developing rockets for deep space travel that could send humans to Mars. Musk said in 2020 that he was confident that a manned mission to the Red Planet could take place in 2026.
Musk, the world’s richest man thanks to the popularity of electric car maker, Tesla Inc., said in January he would donate $100 million to the award for Best Carbon Capture Technology, Bloomberg reported.