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In my last question, I asked about a blob devouring a planet and escaping its gravity. Since simply tossing itself into the air isn't going to work, it's going to need to make itself into a rocket, and rockets need fuel.

Now, the blob itself isn't flammable, or at least no more so than most other living creatures; instead, it creates a fuel either from its own biomass, or from resources in the planet it's consuming. When it has made enough fuel, it sends a 10 foot cube of itself into space and out of the solar system, in search of new worlds. It keeps devouring and growing, making fuel, and sending chunks into space, until all available resources are depleted.

Note that it doesn't care about safety, just that as much blob is sent to other systems as possible. Given access to all the resources of a planet, an instinct and ability to shape itself into a rocket, and the ability to create rocket fuel - how would it do it?

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  • $\begingroup$ You should read Fred Hoyle's book "The Black Cloud" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Cloud . It doesn't say how it does what it does but it sounds like the type of thing you're looking for. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Mar 25 '16 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, I'll have to pick that up! I must admit that my monster is based in part on the short story, "The Color Out of Space", by H. P. Lovecraft. Though not as terrifying in person, mine is a bit scarier on a broad scale, in that it's here to eat everything, not just escape... $\endgroup$ – ArmanX Mar 25 '16 at 14:35
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Well to start, we already have bacteria that can produce fuels, this is just one example.

On top of that most rocket rocket fuel (at least the oxidizer) is liquid oxygen, If the blob can store hydrogen and oxygen in large enough quantities, it could use electrolysis can separate Oxygen and Hydrogen to be burned back together for lift.

Or just using the a fuel making process like the bacteria to produce enough fuel and only store the Oxygen to help burn the fuel hotter and faster, especially once you reach high altitudes.

On top of that, when using the electrolysis, to separate the oxygen, it can store the hydrogen and make itself a large hydrogen balloon, and float up as high into the atmosphere as possible before needing to fire the fuel, thus reducing the fuel requirement significantly, and can still use the hydrogen as fuel too!

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey, I like that idea! As a balloon, it would need a lot less fuel mass; bubbles of hydrogen to get it to the edge of space, then a bacterial biofuel and some oxygen to push it out of Earth's orbit and the solar system. $\endgroup$ – ArmanX Mar 25 '16 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @ArmanX I'm glad you like it! You can always feel free to upvote good answers! $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Mar 25 '16 at 16:05
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How do we do it? It has all the resources of the planet to use to construct rockets, right? So it will make chemical fuels out of material and energy sources available.

Is chemical not good enough? See Camelot 30K by Robert L Forward for a similar situation that "grows" a nuclear bomb as a launch mechanism.

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If you want to propell something (a part of yourself) into space, fuel isn't your only concern. You would need to make a multi-stage rocket system with metallic casing and oxygen and all (yes, rockets carry their oxygen supply along with the fuel). Also don't forget the navigation system (you don't want the rocket to turn due to wind and gravity issues and crash back on the surface).

So yes, if you are a planet-sized blob, you can simply ingest fossil fuels and flammable gases (specially acetylene, hydrogen and methane), compress them into liquid state and use that as fuel.

But that does not even begin to solve your issues of sending a part of yourself into space. Talk about rocket science. Literally!

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  • $\begingroup$ I would guess that a blob could probably steer itself, and that given enough attempts, a few would survive, even if it's only a few percent. Shielding and so on it's really only an issue on reentry; the heat from the burning fuel would need some sort of shield, but apart from weight, even rocks should work, at least in the short term. $\endgroup$ – ArmanX Mar 25 '16 at 16:54
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Producing rocket fuel is not out of reach for biological systems since ethanol has been used as rocket fuel and it's actually produced by some organism.

Oxidizer might be a bit harder, not because of production challenges (a lot of organisms produce oxigen in large amounts or oxigen peroxide in small amounts) but because of storage challenges. Oxigen is gaseous at room temperature and oxigen peroxide is highly reactive, so both are difficult to manage and store in a form suitable for a rocket.

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