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Purdue's team, is cooking up a new gel rocket fuel with the consistency of marmalade. Left to right, Tim Phillips and Mark James, graduate students, Timothee Pourpoint, a research assistant professor and Travis Kubal, another graduate student, are among the researchers on the team. The safer and more efficient gel fuels could be adapted for use as an alternative to liquid propellants in NASA's successor to the Shuttle.  (Source: Purdue News Service photo/Andrew Hancock)
New fuels could make rockets of future cheaper, more efficient

Purdue University's new fuels aren't rocket science… well actually, they are.  Purdue University is looking to break the aerospace industry out of decades of using largely the same fuels, typically either kerosene-liquid oxygen, or the more prevalent liquid-oxygen, liquid-hydrogen mix.  Amid resurgence in interest in looking at new and exotic propulsion technologies, the team isn't looking to reinvent the rocket; they just want to make it better.

The team has devised a new gel fuel which has about same viscous character as orange marmalade.  However, this fuel isn't meant for spreading on toast, rather it improves the safety, performance and range of rockets.  The team hopes to see it used in both military and space exploration applications.

The key problem with rocket fuels is that liquid fuels, used in rockets like the Shuttle boosters, can leak.  Solid fuels, like Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP), on the other hand don't leak, but they also have much lower specific impulse, are harder to throttle, and require special high pressure combustion chambers.

However, according to team leader Stephen Heister, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University, gel fuels can provide the best of both worlds.  He states, "You can turn the engine on and off, you can coast, go fast or slow.  You have much greater control, which means more range for missiles. The gelled propellants also tend to have a little more energy than the solid propellants."

The new gel fuels his team has devised could be put to use booster rockets for unmanned missions, or even in the boosters for NASA's new Ares manned space program, the Shuttle successor (assuming the specific impulse could be boosted high enough).  Professor Heister's interdisciplinary team which is developing the fuels consists of many of the faculty at Purdue University, but also includes members from Iowa State University and University of Massachusetts.

The work is not without obstacles.  Paul Sojka, a professor of mechanical engineering and an associate director of the project, is working to capture videos of the high speed jets of gel that form when the rocket is firing.  He describes, "These jets are wiggling, there are pulsations, and those pulsations, we believe, lead to the formation of specific spray patterns and droplet formation.  The fluid mechanics of gels are quite challenging. The viscous properties of the gel change depending on how fast it's flowing, which is not true of common liquids such as water or gasoline."

Adds Carlos Corvalan, an associate professor of food science, who is working on the product and brings gel expertise from the food industry, "Gels are more complex than ordinary solids and fluids.  Fluids are characterized by viscosity, and solids are characterized by elasticity. Because gels share properties of both solids and fluids, they possess viscoelastic properties, or a combination of both."

The new fuel is hypergolic, meaning that it needs no ignition source, but burns when exposed to an oxidizer.  The final system will require a small separate tank of oxidizer to burn the fuel.

Having created a promising gel fuel, characterizing how it flows out of the engines is the critical final step.  A finished engine will likely spray thousands of pounds of gel per second into the engine combustion chamber.  With this kind of a demanding scenario, a precise understanding of the behavior is absolutely critical.  The team understands this and is working hard to set up a plethora of real world tests coupled with computer simulations to analyze many aspects of the gel behavior.  If they can successfully obtain the big picture, deployment in military and NASA rockets will be almost a sure shot for them.

The project is one of a couple programs funded by a $6.4M USD U.S. Army Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant.

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It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/23/2009 10:40:37 AM , Rating: 4
The future of rocketry is nuclear, plain and simple. There just isn't enough energy in chemical based fuels. Imagine a 3,000 lb car that needed 30,000 lbs of gas just to reach the corner store. That's the space shuttle essentially, or any chemical-fueled launch platform.

In fact, it sounds like these gel fuels have a lower specific impulse than the LOX mix the SSME uses. Their advantage is apparently safety, not performance.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By freeagle on 1/23/2009 11:02:20 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have any links to ideas of how to use nuclear energy in a propulsion system than could take off the solid ground? The only scenario I remember used a huge blast shield and nuclear detonations to move the spaceship forward. But it had to be built in orbit.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/23/2009 11:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
That's the old Orion project-- nuclear pulse propulsion. That could launch from earth surface, but only by generating a substantial amount of fallout...the system is essentially nothing but tossing a string of nuclear bombs out of the back of your rocket.

What you really want is a nuclear thermal design, which has an enclosed reactor that doesn't realize radioactivity. We had plenty of designs for such back in the 60s and 70s, but stopped work on them due to political issues.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Bubbacub on 1/23/2009 12:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
arn't there big problems in the design of a nuclear thermal rocket:

1: you still need a propellant and you need to lift the weight of that propellant

2: unless you have an unmanned rocket, you will need to shield the reactor - which makes it very heavy

3: all the usual fearmongering claptrap that you have to overcome to build anything with the word nuclear in it.

points one and two lead to a heavy rocket that isn't going to get anywhere. unfortunately point 3 hinders the development of technologies to get around points 1 and 2.

happy to be corrected

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/23/2009 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Point 2. Yes the dry weight of a nuclear rocket is projected to be substantially higher. But considering the fully loaded weight of a chemical rocket can be more than ten times the dry weight (due to the immense amounts of fuel), this isn't that large a concern. Fission-based fuels have, after all, something on the order of 100,000,000 times as much energy as chemical-based fuels. That's a tremendous advantage when working around weight considerations.

Piint 3 is very true, but igorance has been overcome in the past. One can only hope we're at least as wise in the future.

Point 1. You still need reaction mass, yes. But the performance of that propellant is based on a parameter known as specific impusle, or Isp. The space shuttle manages about 450 seconds of Isp...and that's about the maximum for chemical fuels -- a few exotics can get slightly above this, but their incredible dangerous and hard to work with.

The simplest nuclear thermal rockets tested back in the 1960s, though, managed about twice that, or close to 900 seconds. And high-temperature gas-core designs can be several times higher still, as much as 5,000 seconds or more. That means throw weights of more than ten times what we currently manage, for the same amount of reaction mass.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Solandri on 1/23/2009 6:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
I thought ion thrusters already exceeded that? Yup, just looked it up and ion thrusters have specific impulses of 3,000 - 30,000 s.

You still need to generate the power for the ion thruster, so nuclear may still be a part of it. But in terms of fuel/payload ratio, ion thrusters trump nuclear rockets.

Course ion thrusters are slow - you're not going to be doing any Star Wars/Trek-type evasive maneuvers with them. But for interplanetary and interstellar travel, time is something you have lots of. What matters more is how high a velocity/momentum you can throw your propellant out the back, not how quickly you can use it up.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/23/2009 6:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "in terms of fuel/payload ratio, ion thrusters trump nuclear rockets."

An ion thruster, however, can't be used for launches. Furthermore, the 30Ks Isp figure quoted is theoretical only. In practice, we're only doing about 1/10 that. Finally, for practical use, an ion thruster is going to have to be coupled with an energy source, most likely nuclear in nature.

In the very long term, ion-type technologies will likely dominate deep space missions, with beanstalks and/or railguns used for surface launch. But a nuclear thermal rocket is something we could build now, that would have performance far above what we see from current chemical-based rockets.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Triple Omega on 1/25/2009 6:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
I currently see three problems with creating a nuclear thermal rocket:

1) Research costs money and currently money is a hard thing to come by for research like this. Not just because of the crisis, but also because of research being done into conventional rocketry. They can only spend there money once and are more likely to go for the safer conventional option.

2) There's a chance that electromagnetic launching technology will be developed(at least for unmanned launches) too fast for a nuclear thermal rocketry research program to be run in parrallel.

3) The fear for launching a rocket with an active nuclear core is not unfounded. Even in this day and age conventional rockets still fail every now and then; this was an even bigger problem in the early days. The problem with nuclear powered rockets is that ANY failure that results in the depositing of nuclear material into the atmosphere is completely unacceptable!(Both medically/environmentally and politically.)

This means that not a single launch, from the first test-launch till the launch of the last nuclear powered rocket, can experience a serious reactor-leak or have a catastrophic failure(resulting in a reactor breach). This is pretty much impossible to achieve, which means that people either have to accept the fact that a relatively small nuclear disaster is going to happen every few years, or do without nuclear powered rockets. I think the latter is more likely.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/25/2009 7:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
The fear for launching a rocket with an active nuclear core is not unfounded.
A nuclear RTG was aboard the failed Apollo 13 mission. Not the command module the astronauts descended in, but the LEM, which made an uncontrolled atmospheric reentry at full orbital velocity, then crashed into the sea. It's hard to imagine a more catastrophic scenario than that...yet no nuclear material was released.

That was with 1970 materials and technology, Honestly, building a reactor today that can withstand catastrophic reentry isn't that difficult.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Avitar on 1/26/2009 1:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
As part of the early 1960's Pluto project, (it was an unlimited range nuclear cruse missile.)Built two propulsion reactors and test fired one. It looks like we could get perhaps 2 million pounds specific impulse out of a nuclear rocket. There is a question as to why we would bother to send the reactor into space. The science fiction community has talked for half a century about magnetic mass accelerators and several Universities have shown this to be viable. There have also been small-scale demonstrations of Laser powered rockets. Build a big nuclear power plant/launch complex (10-mile takeoff accelerator) in the Rockies and do not use much fuel/propellant at all.

By Triple Omega on 1/26/2009 2:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well there are two problems with your statement:

1) An RTG(Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) is much more stable and produces much less energy then a Nuclear Fission Reactor(NFR). It is also far less complex, both in design and in operation. I'm assuming you don't expect an RTG to provide enough power to get into orbit as that seems highly unlikely.

2) A NFR can not only fail catastrophically due to outside influences(such as uncontrolled re-entry), but also due to inside influences such as failure of the cooling-pumps. Besides that, a NFR is far more likely to catastrophically fail due to outside influences as it's reaction is only stable under very specific circumstances.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Steve1981 on 1/23/2009 2:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
The spoiler that comes to mind for me is

4: $$$$$$$$$$$

I'd be curious to know how much a nuclear powered shuttle with ion thrusters would compare in cost to a conventionally powered shuttle.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Bubbacub on 1/24/2009 7:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
its not like the shuttle is cheap!

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Avitar on 1/26/2009 1:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ion thrusters have not been able to lift themselves yet. Great over long term, long range in micro gravity but not near workable for earth launch.

By geddarkstorm on 1/27/2009 2:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
The only limit for an ion thruster is the electrical power you can put in it. More power, i.e. higher voltage on the charge grate, the higher acceleration you will achieve.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Samus on 1/23/2009 1:57:24 PM , Rating: 1
The problem with Nuclear power in space isn't a matter of cooling (its pretty fucking cold up there ;) but a matter of HOW to cool. There isn't any water to cool so using typical reactor design is out of the question. Also, water and most cooling liquids would freeze in space climate if a reactor pump failure occured which would be catastophic. It's a complicated problem, unlike a submarine.

By TimberJon on 1/26/2009 2:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of the novel "Footfall"

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Kenny1234 on 1/23/2009 11:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
The nuclear reactor is used to heat an inert gas (Nitrogen), which is pushed out the rear of the spaceship, providing thrust. The other advantage of using a reactor is having a power source once the destination is reached.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/23/2009 11:55:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well you wouldn't normally want to use nitrogen; its molecular weight is too high. H2 would still be the best choice for reaction mass.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By MrPoletski on 1/23/2009 12:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, why not bung some oxygen in there too and react the pair.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By foolsgambit11 on 1/23/2009 2:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Because the force generated by a chemical reaction isn't as high as the force that can be obtained by heating the H2.

This is an oversimplification of the whole thing, I'm sure, but I understand it this way: burning a fuel occurs at a specific temperature, which excites atoms to a specific velocity. Velocity * mass (of the fuel) = force. That force is used to drive the rocket. On the other hand, a the heat from a nuclear source can reach much higher temperatures, exciting the propellant to a much higher velocity, providing a much greater force.

By Darkskypoet on 1/23/2009 8:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, i am thinking along the same lines... Now a question of course; could in-atmo launches utilize the power of a sort of reactor to scoop fuel and push it behind it fast enough for escape velocity? Perhaps with only a partial chemical aid? Think scram-jet, etc until out far enough that you can light up your main ultra hi-temp reactor thrusters? My worry would be for launching that the utilization of such a high temp to mass thrust source would do a massive amount of damage at ground level... We'd be heating this H2 to some fairly horrendouss temps to realize the impulse required... that perhaps an electric turbine / scram-jet tech could get you up to the edge before engaging the low-no O2 drive, so to speak.

The future for anything in space is a nuclear reaction; now fission, later fusion. I mean hell, nature tells us this all the time. Its getting to LEO that hurts.

@masher: yeah some sort of mass launcher would be sweet if we could get close enough to / or totally escape the well with it. In many of these cases, Sci-Fi is never really that far off. (maglev mass launcher platform built up a mountain side, or something akin to that idea - saw it in scifi first :))

Is anyone working on such a thing? Something similar could be used to drop ship resources from moon, or other local bodies as well. But its always easier when your at the top of the well, to get stuff to the bottom.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By slashbinslashbash on 1/23/2009 11:12:48 AM , Rating: 3
The future of rocketry may well be nuclear, but hopefully the future of space travel will not be rocketry.

By MrPoletski on 1/23/2009 12:05:03 PM , Rating: 5
With the galaxy, the milky way and mars I'd say the future of space is chocolate.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Bubbacub on 1/23/2009 11:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
the only viable proposition for a working nuclear rocket with current tech is project orion. as far as i know orion was a fantastic concept for launching 1000's of tonnes of material into orbit and beyond - it doesn't scale down very well to smaller loads and there is the added problem of nuclear fallout. if we needed to send for example an entire colony to mars in one go then a nuclear launch would be worth the fallout and cost. however project orion isn't really a viable alternative to the big dumb booster approach which can provide 99% of humanities actual space needs fairly cheaply (i.e. commercial and military satellites and the odd space probe). on a side note i would rather have seen nasa go with an orion type launching system (fired once every 10 years or so to launch a really big project) than piss away the billions that they have on the shuttle which has neither reduced the cost of access to space or provided that mythical one week turnaround in re-using spacecraft that was prommised in the design phase.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/24/2009 4:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "the only viable proposition for a working nuclear rocket with current tech is project orion"

The Soviets flew a nuclear thermal rocket over 20 years ago, and the US did ground-level tests on nuclear thermal engines back in the late 60s/early 70s. We certainly have the technology to build one now, with nothing more than engineering and design work-- no new advances in technology needed.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Bubbacub on 1/24/2009 7:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
hmmn do we not fall back into the three points that i mentioned earlier?

i agree with your criticism of my first point because the mass ratio of nuclear thermal rocket can be a lot less than is required for a chemical rocket by virtue of the increased specific impulse achieved with a nuclear reactor.

however you would still need shielding around your reactor which would be very likely to make it very heavy.

also bear in mind that with a nuclear design there are many political and environmental reasons that preclude a staged design (i.e. i think it would be a tough sell to just let a nuclear reactor drop back to earth). any proposed vehicle would therefore need to have ssto capabilities. i just don't think we could build a single stage to orbit nuclear rocket (with enough shielding to not cook the astronaut) with current technology (maybe you could have a chemical first stage and a nuclear final stage).

you may be able to get around these problems but i think they would demand a significant increase in our level of technology which would require a really big chunk of cash. maybe an apollo + star wars combined level of funding could achieve this.

say that this goal is achieved. so what. what benefit is achieved over standard chemical rockets for humanities current space needs?

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/24/2009 8:33:01 PM , Rating: 2
"i just don't think we could build a single stage to orbit nuclear rocket"
Multi-staging is useful in chemical rockets becaue of the vast amounts of fuel required. Dropping off the parasitic weight of all that tankage pays off. But if you're boosting with propellants in the 1000+ Isp range, the extra complexity of multistaging becomes a negative, not positive.

Lets try some hard numbers. The standard rocket equation looks like g0*Isp*ln(m/m0). If you triple the Isp, though, your mass fraction drops by much more. Take a launch platform that's 1% payload, 99% fuel. Now what happens if you triple the Isp? The mass fraction goes from 1% to 21.5%. In other words, you can lift 21X as much payload with the same amount of fuel. Or, you can use a much smaller amount of fuel to lift the same payload.

There are other benefits besides greater lift. With that much of a dV budget, you can lift much slower if you want, meaning you don't need to design a rocket that can withstand 10g accelerations. You also don't need highly trained astronauts to pilot it. With all your extra fuel, you can even reenter the atmosphere without using aerobraking...which means you don't need exotic materials and fancy heatshields. Put simply, with a powerful enough nuclear engine, you could seal a school bus in plastic wrap, and use it for a moon capsule. All the complexity of modern spacecraft design comes from the limitations of chemical-based fuels.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By Bubbacub on 1/25/2009 2:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
you've made some good points there but i think there are still a few stumbling blocks.

you still have to store liquid hydrogen and have a load of delicate and fault prone pumps to pump the h2 to the nuclear reactor. you still have to have half the machinery that you have in a conventional liquid hydrogen and o2 based rocket.

engine servicing in a nuclear design becomes a lot more difficult and expensive due to radiation. the space shuttle engines have to be stripped down and rebuilt every time it flies. doing this with a nuclear design could be a lot trickier and a lot more expensive.

do you think developing and using this rocket is going to be cheaper than an automated chemical launcher for putting satellites in space?

i think you are underestimating the sheer expense of making a new type of rocket. look at the costs of making ares. its essentially a mish mash of apollo and space shuttle technologies. the bulk of the r&d work is done and even this project is looking like it might bankrupt nasa. building a nuclear rocket is going to be expensive even if the school bus you stick on top of it is cheap!

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/25/2009 7:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
you still have to store liquid hydrogen
Why? With an advanced reactor design, one can use plain water as reaction mass, and still get far higher Isps than a chemical rocket yields.

the space shuttle engines have to be stripped down and rebuilt every time it flies. doing this with a nuclear design could be a lot trickier
But that's just the point. The shuttle engines *have* to be essentially rebuilt every mission, because you're operating so close to design tolerances. With a nuclear design, you don't have that problem. There's no reason a nuclear engine can't boost for dozens, even hundreds of missions with only minor maintenance between each.

do you think developing and using this rocket is going to be cheaper than an automated chemical launcher
Development costs would be higher...but operating costs would be far lower. Look at our current approach with Ares...we've totally abandoned the semi-reusable approach, and are returning to building an entire rocket from scratch, only to throw it away after a single launch. There's just no way you can dramatically reduce operating costs with chemical-based launch systems.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By goz314 on 1/23/2009 12:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
Your comments don't make this new research into gel fuels any less important or significant. NTR designs have their inherent drawbacks too. While they have a high specific impulse and can be used effectively for long duration spaceflight, they also typically have lower thrust than most chemical rockets.

Most designs have so little thrust in fact that the NERVA reference design prototyped and tested in the 60s would not have been able to lift itself let alone its fuel and any payload off the ground. NTRs are great for exo-atmospheric spacecraft, but they are not well suited for launching much of anything into orbit.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By masher2 on 1/24/2009 4:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but this isn't true at all. Even the crude original NERVA tested managed 250,000 lbs of thrust. That's about 1/10 of what a shuttle SRB manages...but an SRB is out of fuel in 2 minutes, whereas NERVA can thrust for hours.

But far more important is the fact that the space shuttle represents the very peak of chemical propulsion technology. Its performance is quite close to theoretical maximums. NERVA was our first stumbling effort at nuclear propulsion, and is only a tiny fraction of the potential performance available from nuclear designs. Saying that nuclear engines "typically have lower thrust" is roughly akin to comparing the first crude electronic computers to a team of trained abacus-wielding accountants. It's not which one was faster then that was important; it's which had the greater potential for growth.

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By zozzlhandler on 1/23/2009 1:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
What about laser launch systems? Or, to look further ahead, skyhooks?

RE: It's all about specific impulse
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/23/2009 1:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
or a rotary sling launcher?

By foolsgambit11 on 1/23/2009 2:39:39 PM , Rating: 5
Or a big escalator?

Or really hot air balloons - the hotter the air, the higher the balloon goes, right? Nuclear air balloons!

China is catching up with us in space tech because it's so easy to get to space on the underside of the planet. Everything falls down, right? So China just has to let go of its rockets and they end up in space!

Shuttle boosters...
By Sanity on 1/23/2009 10:06:09 AM , Rating: 2
The key problem with rocket fuels is that liquid fuels, used in rockets like the Shuttle boosters, can leak.

I'm pretty sure that the Shuttle uses liquid fuels for the main engine. The boosters use solid rocket fuel. No?

RE: Shuttle boosters...
By Doormat on 1/23/2009 11:45:44 AM , Rating: 3
The shuttle boosters are SRBs - solid rocket boosters. And the "hard to throttle" is very accurate - they're impossible to turn off, once they're on they are on. And you're going somewhere if you're attached to one.

RE: Shuttle boosters...
By MrPoletski on 1/23/2009 12:00:23 PM , Rating: 3
and if it's pointing in the wrong direction, that somewhere is hell :O

Holy crap!
By FITCamaro on 1/23/09, Rating: 0
RE: Holy crap!
By Goty on 1/23/2009 10:17:13 AM , Rating: 5
Ok, now that you have pronunciation down, let's move on to grammar.


Boiler up!
By EODetroit on 1/23/2009 9:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
Ok Mark James needs to emulate Kyle Orton less. Other than that, good job!

RE: Boiler up!
By acase on 1/23/2009 11:16:13 AM , Rating: 2
Hell yah GO PURDUE! BTFU!!!

I'm so gellin!
By Spookster on 1/23/2009 8:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
Would they hurry up and invent a ZPM already or a stargate whichever is easier.

RE: I'm so gellin!
By Avitar on 1/26/2009 1:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
See Huntsville, Al for ZPM, you put a southern accent on it and nobody in the news media will ever suspect that science is being committed.

October Sky
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/23/2009 10:15:04 AM , Rating: 3
They made a gel propellant. go homer!

<- Purdue Student
By RallyMaster on 1/23/2009 10:15:24 AM , Rating: 2
Nice to see Purdue make something of themselves. Unfortunately, their professors are lacking in the ability to teach correctly.

Nuclear Propulsion
By HammerFan on 1/23/2009 11:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
Do a search on NERVA. It was a nuclear rocket program in the late 60s IIRC. Could be used from the ground, but due to concerns of radioactive exhaust, it was shelved permanently. With more development time, it would most certainly outrun any chemical-based system.

behind the times
By Aeternum on 1/23/2009 6:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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