We’d barely recovered from last week’s murmurs that Prince Harry may be distracted from married life by a commitment in the stars, when this touched down on our desk. The latest rumour in the world of aerospace concerns none other than Elon Musk and his controversial company, SpaceX.
Anders Elderson, a former SpaceX engineer turned grindcore drummer, has publicly stated that the aerospace manufacturer and services provider has been conducting trials into the potential application of chickpea brine, also known as aquafaba, in fuelling rocket launches. Elderson’s speaking out follows the termination of his contract with the company when he challenged the level of secrecy around the project.
“As a long-term flexitarian, I do have a solid understanding of the energetic properties of legumes and their by-products,” said Elderson. “That’s why I was selected to lead the research into using aquafaba as fuel.” He went on to outline the process of pressure cooking dried chickpeas to produce the viscous liquid substance.
“Musk is of the belief that aquafaba is a criminally underused resource,” confirms Christine Omassi, a vegan pastry chef who was approached by SpaceX to consult on the research project. “I’m inclined to agree with him, but even so… as I watched them pouring the undiluted aquafaba into the fuel tanks for the first time, I couldn’t help but wonder how the hell this was going the work. It was insane… maybe just insane enough to work.”
Omassi added that she was impressed by Musk’s insistence on using only organic chickpeas in the craft brine production process. “If he was using off-the-shelf product, I’d have been out the door – no question,” she told us. Elderson’s statement implied a similar sentiment. “Elon is no stranger to the myriad uses of aquafaba, and that he wants to do this right,” he said. “We weren’t just straining the stuff out of a can.”
Well, does it work? At present, our sources are tight-lipped on that matter. Only time will tell.
“It works great as a marshmallow gelatiniser,” offered Omassi.