sample of the week


this week's chemical sample hit the headlines today for all the wrong reasons following the massive explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket bound for the International Space Station. first rising, then exploding, falling and exploding again, the giant craft carried the toxic compound amongst others, leading NASA officials to warn the public about approaching the area. used since the early days of rocketry, dinitrogen tetroxide is a powerful oxidizer which reacts on contact with hydrazine in what's called a hypergolic reaction – making it ideal for launching rockets, but highly hazardous when things go wrong