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Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - How Your World Works -

Ready: 4 to 7 years

A March test al­lowed ex­perts to learn about the pro­pel­lant be­ing used sim­ply by ob­serv­ing the ex­haust. Ear­lier tests had smoky ex­haust, in­di­cat­ing kerosene, but this plume was orange, in­di­cat­ing car­bon, and translu­cent. “The most likely can­di­date is un­sym­met­ri­cal dimethyl­hy­drazine, though other hy­drazine de­riv­a­tives and sim­i­lar com­pounds are pos­si­ble,” Schilling says. This fuel gives a rocket 15 per cent more power. “It was more ad­vanced and ef­fi­cient than anything we had re­ally ex­pected them to be able to de­velop for the first stage of their ICBMS.”

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