Although the New Origin Blue Shepherd rocket produces less pollution than other known spacecraft, given that the number of such flights is likely to increase in the near future, it is not bad to know what impact each New Shepherd launch will have on the Earth’s environment.
Rockets are not green and clean technologies, and their environmental impact is still being studied. Launching most spacecraft, depending on what type of fuel they use, produces substances such as water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), soot, and aluminum oxides. It becomes.
New Shepard, which is about to launch Jeff Bezos into space, uses a combination of liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen to generate the energy needed to escape gravity; This means that the main output will be water and some other combustible products, but practically no carbon dioxide is returned.
The water coming out of the New Shepherd rocket could increase the number of clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere and affect the conditions of the upper atmosphere, including the mesosphere and ionosphere, but since the number of current rockets is small, we should not worry about climate models.
The emission of carbon dioxide from spacecraft is almost negligible, as studies have shown that rockets in 2018 caused about 0.0000059% of all CO2 emissions. This figure is 2.4 percent per year for the aviation industry. But on the other hand, gas vapor is a more dangerous greenhouse, and the longer it stays in the Earth’s atmosphere, the more it warms our planet. However, as the New Shepherd shuts down its engine in the early stages of flight, water vapor travels slightly to higher altitudes.
The most important concern about rocket launches is small particles such as soot and aluminum oxides, very small amounts of which can have a major impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. A study of the effects of soot from 1,000 private submarine flights in 2010 showed that these flights could raise the temperature of the polar regions by 1 degree Celsius and reduce the amount of polar ice by 5 to 15 percent. But the leakage of these particles is also low in New Shepard, and the Blue Origin missile is generally considered one of the cleanest missiles.