Come on, come and see the future of space travel: steam power!
No, seriously; Half a century after the first manned space mission in the world, it seems that interplanetary journeys have finally entered the age of steam. Scientists at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have joined Honeybee Robotics, a private space and a California-based mining technology company, to develop a small and powerful nautical that can suck fuel from asteroids, planets i utm_content = Google% 20Feedfetcher) and moons you are browsing.
By steadily extending extraterrestrial steam, this microwave size provider could theoretically be strengthened in an indefinite number of planetary missions through the galaxy, as long as it lands in somewhere with H20 for the dam. [Hyperloop, Jetpacks & More: 9 Futuristic Transit Ideas]
"We could use this technology to get on the moon, Ceres & utm_content = Google% 20Feedfetcher), Europe, Titan, Pluto, Mercury dust, asteroids – there's water and a fairly low gravity anywhere," Phil Metzger, scientist of the UCF space and one of the main minds behind the steampunk ship, said in a statement. Metzger added that such a self-sufficient ship could explore the cosmos "forever".
Metzger and his colleagues call the WINE provider (short film "World Not Is Enough"), and a prototype of the boat recently completed its first test mission on a simulated surface of asteroids in California . Using a compact drill device, the terrifying one successfully exploded the fake comet for water, converted the H20 into a rocket propeller and threw it into the air through a group of steam drives.
While the phrase "spacecraft with steam" could evoke images of a rusty and bolted screw bucket, the technology behind WINE is much more complex than it seems. To make the prototype work well, Metzger spent three years developing new models and steam propulsion computer equations to help VINE optimize its operations in response to the different gravitational demands of its environment. If a robot similar to HIV does it to the space, the built-in solar panels could provide the initial energy needed to start the drilling operations outside the world.
Successful execution of a test is a great feather in the proverbial steampunk hat of the WINE, but there is a long way to go before the vendor can test itself in a real space environment. NASA sees value in the potentially self-sufficient nebula and helped finance the first stages of the project; Now, developers are looking for new partners to help remove WINE out of the lab and in another world.