Don’t let the Phoenix Mars Lander or its shuttle missions fool you — NASA’s working on a lot more than just space-related projects. Continue reading to see more. Click here for first picture in gallery.

Liquid Methane-Powered Rocket Engine

Rocket engines aren’t exactly synonymous with liquid methane, but NASA’s latest project shows just what this natural gas is capable of — produces 7,500-pound thrust in this case. Best of all, “you don’t have to put on a HAZMAT suit to handle it like fuels used on many space vehicles.”


Sporting a 21-foot wingspan, the NASA X-48B Blended Wing Body — built to 8.5-percent scale — is the world’s largest remote controlled plane, powered by a trio of turbojet engines. Advantages include: “efficient aerodynamics for reduced fuel burn and possibly significant reductions in noise due to propulsion integration options.”

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