The Ultimate Water-Powered Rocket!
The rocket was actually propelled by a frozen mixture of "nanoscale aluminium" (isn't that "dust"?) and water, pumped in at the consistency of toothpaste and then frozen in place. The propellant is known as ALICE (aluminium and ice - convenient, eh?)
Earlier this month, the collaborative team, Drs. Steven F. Son and Tim Pourpoint of Purdue, Rich Yetter and Grant Risha of Penn State, Vigor Yang of Georgia Tech, Harold Bell and Frank Bauer of NASA, and Mitat Birkan and Thomas Russell of AFOSR watched as the rocket soared high into the sky, to 1300 feet near Purdue University.
ALICE is generating excitement among the researchers because it has the potential to replace some liquid or solid propellants. It is a promising propellant energetically. Theoretically, when it is optimized, it could have a higher performance than a conventional propellant.
In addition, because of the abundance and easy handling of the raw materials, ALICE could potentially become the propellant of choice for missions leaving other planets, since it could be (relatively) easy to manufacture from local raw materials and far easier to store than cryogenic fuels.
Story from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base via Rocket Dungeon.
Video found by Jeff-O