British firm led by an ex-Made in Chelsea star, has completed its first successful test of a rocket engine made from plastic waste. 

Pulsar Fusion is a nuclear-fusion company based in Bletchley. It conducted tests in COTEC (a Ministry of Defence military base located in Salisbury) on November 17-18.

Richard Dinan is 35 and the CEO of the company. Dinan appeared on Made in Chelsea in 2012. He also confessed to having eaten with Prince Harry in past years thanks to his royal connections.

Plastic-powered rocket engines could be used for a variety of applications, including launching people and satellites into space, according to Pulsar Fusion. 

The firm’s ultimate ambition is to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine using nuclear fusion technologies for interplanetary travel – which could cut the journey time to Mars in half.  

Pulsar Fusion's CEO is University of Oxford graduate Richard Dinan (right). Fuel derived from recycled plastic has enabled Pulsar Fusion to test its first launch capable, high-power chemical rocket engine in the UK for the first time

Richard Dinan, a University of Oxford graduate is Pulsar Fusion’s chief executive officer (right). Pulsar Fusion has successfully tested its first high-powered chemical rocket engine capable of launch in the UK using fuel made from recycled plastic.


Richard Dinan (35), is a British businessman, most well-known for his appearance on Made in Chelsea in 2012. 

Dinan graduated from high school when he was 16 years old and worked as an entrepreneur for 10 years before investing in nuclear research in 2013. This year, a few months after Made in Chelsea’s appearance, Dinan started to invest in nuclear fusion research. 

He started to hire physicists as teachers about thermonuclear science, and has been lecturing on the topic at Oxford University since then.   

Dinan established Pulsar Fusion (a private company that works in the small-scale development of fusion reactors) in 2014. 

The company is currently developing a prototype reactor for nuclear fusion. This will create plasma that’s hotter than the sun. 

Last week’s test demonstrated ‘impressive visual plume effects’ such as supersonic shock diamonds – the formation of standing wave patterns – which are typical of a high temperature rocket exhaust.

A demonstration by international clients of space will take place in Switzerland, November 25 to follow up on the results from the static test.

Dinan stated that Pulsar was one of very few businesses in the world who have tested and built these technologies. 

“We are grateful to a group of outstanding scientists who have vast experience in achieving these landmarks. 

“We’ve also attracted talent from some of Britain’s most prestigious universities. They have been testing and working with the plasma thrusters in campus facilities.”  

Pulsar Fusion’s rocket engine is a hybrid – meaning it uses rocket propellants in two different phases (one solid and the other either gas or liquid). 

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is the fuel for this ‘green’ rocket. It can also be recycled and used to power nitrous oxide. These two fuels combine to form a non-toxic plume. 

HDPE is available in recycled plastics, so that items can still be recycled and used to make a potent yet safe rocket fuel. 

MailOnline was informed by Dinan that hybrid engines could run on recycled plastic while liquid engines cannot. It is very low in toxicity. 

Pulsar Fusion, a UK nuclear fusion company based in Bletchley, conducted successful tests at COTEC, a Ministry of Defence military base in Salisbury

Pulsar Fusion was a UK nucleus fusion company, with a base in Bletchley. They conducted tests at COTEC in Salisbury, which is part of the Ministry of Defence.

The 'green' rocket is powered by the following fuels: high density polyethylene (HDPE) and nitrous oxide which is called a hybrid

This ‘green rocket’ is powered by high density polyethylene, (HDPE), or nitrous dioxide which is called a “hybrid”.

He said that plastic bottles, as well as other trash can be broken down into blocks and loaded into rockets prior to firing. 

Dinan, who left school as a 16-year-old at the age of 16, spent 10 years in business before starting to invest in nuclear fusion research in 2013 after his Made in Chelsea appearance. 

He started to hire physicists as teachers about thermonuclear science, and has been lecturing on the topic at Oxford University since then.  

In September 2021, the UK Government funded Pulsar Fusion to develop its “hall effect thruster” plasma satellite engines. These are capable of 12.5 mile per second particle exhaust speeds. 

The rocket engine (pictured) proudly displayed the Union flag during testing earlier this month. Rocket engines could be used for a variety of applications, including launching people and satellites into space

During tests earlier in the month, the Union flag proudly displayed by the rocket engine (pictured). The rocket engine could be used to launch people or satellites into outer space.

By 2025, Pulsar Fusion wants to have developed nuclear fusion propulsion engines for static demonstration

Pulsar Fusion hopes to develop nuclear fusion propulsion engines that can be used for static demonstrations by 2025

Richard Dinan is pictured here far right with his fellow cast mates of the third series of Made in Chelsea

Richard Dinan (pictured right) is with his castmates from the third season of Made in Chelsea 

Harwell recently put these Pulsar thrusters to the test. The devices were able to withstand 20g vibrations, which simulates a rocket launch.   

The company’s ultimate milestone – to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine for interplanetary travel using nuclear fusion technologies – could be realised in just four years. 

Pulsar Fusion aspires to be able to demonstrate static nuclear fusion propulsion engine by 2025.

For reactors, nuclear fusion involves using powerful electromagnets in order to drive reactions. 

Pulsar Fusion plans to produce a nuclear fusion rocket engine that will be used to launch and test in orbit between 2027-2027.  


Scientists are proposing to turn space junk — debris from Earth’s orbit — into rocket fuel. They also plan to establish a “gas station in space”. 

Satellites would capture bits of space junk at speeds up to 17,000 mph before they are stored and cut up with advanced robotics.

The space foundry is being built to melt debris into rods of metal, which could then be used for rocket fuel in an “in-space electric propeller system”. 

Space junk solution? Scientists believe they have the answer for how to tackle the problem of debris in Earth's orbit. It would involved capturing space junk, cutting it up and melting it into metal rods that can be used for an 'in-space electric propulsion system'. The process is shown

What is the solution to space junk? Scientists think they know the solution to the issue of space junk in Earth’s orbit. The process would include capturing and melting space junk into rods of metal that could be used to power an ‘inspace electric propulsion system. It is illustrated in this video.

According to ESA, approximately 9200 tonnes space debris is currently floating above Earth. It can pose danger for astronauts. 

Just last week, crew members on the International Space Station (ISS) were forced to take emergency action after a More than 1500 pieces of debris were created by a Russian weapon test that was deemed’reckless’ and ‘irresponsible.  

Read more: Scientists reveal plans to transform space junk into ROCKET FUEL