According to a tweet by CEO Elon Musk, SpaceX is starting a program to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to convert it into rocket fuel.
Musk added that this program will be important for the overall Mars mission goal.
Will also be important for Mars
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 13, 2021
However, the CEO did not provide any more details. Nor did he note how the company would do it or using what vehicle the company would recapture the CO2.
Musk, of course, funds the XPRIZE, allowing teams to compete for funding for CO2 recapture. To win the overall prize of $50 million, teams will need to do the following:
- Demonstrate CO2 removal at the 1000 tonne per year scale.
- Show model costs at the million ton per year scale.
- Present a plan to sustainably reach a gigatonne per year scale in the future.
In addition to the main XPRIZE, a student XPRIZE is also available to fund carbon removal or the development of key supportive technologies.
It has been a busy few months for SpaceX. Earlier this month, NASA awarded the space company three additional Crew Dragon flights to the International Space Station.
The extension of the existing contract is due to Boeing’s issues with its own crewed space program.
When Boeing is up and running, the two companies will ferry astronauts rotationally.