NASA reveals steam-powered spacecraft that reduce their own fuel and can explore distant worlds forever
- NASA-funded prototype boats extract planetary bodies
- Used here to generate steam that allows to run their rocket guns
- Experts says that this process could be repeated indefinitely
Mark Digg for Dailymail.com
A steam-powered spacecraft that can fly across the sky forever is developed by Florida scientists.
Called "The World Is Not Enough", the NASA-funded prototype boat extracts water from asteroids or other planetary bodies to generate steam
It then uses this to propel a rocket propeller and propel itself.
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Called "The World Is Not Enough", the NASA-funded prototype boat extracts water from asteroids or other planetary bodies to generate steam. Spacecraft lifted off about one meter in a vacuum chamber at Honeybees Pasadena plant in its latest test
HOW IT WORKS
the spacecraft uses deployable solar panels to get enough energy for mining and steam, or it can use small radiosotopic decomposition units to extend the potential reach of these planetary wires to Pluto and other places far from the sun.
When it lands, it extracts water from asteroids or other planetary bodies to generate steam.
It then uses this to propel a rocket propeller and drive itself.
Scientists say it could be used to "jump" over asteroids and planets.
"We can potentially use this technology to jump on the moon, Ceres, Europe, Titan, Pluto, the Mercury poles, the asteroids – anywhere there is water and low enough gravity," said universities of Central Florida planetary scientist Phil Metzger .
The researcher worked with Honeybee Robotics in Pasadena, California, which developed the world is not enough spacecraft prototype.
The aircraft lifted off about one meter in a vacuum chamber at the Honeybees Pasadena facility.
It's amazing, Metzger says about the demonstration.
"WINE successfully reduced the earth, made rocket propellants and launched itself on a steam jet extracted from the simulator.
The process works in a variety of scenarios depending on the weight of each object, Metzger says.
The spacecraft uses deployable solar panels to Get enough energy for mining and steam, or it can use small radiosotopic decomposition units to extend the potential range of these planetary mounts to Pluto and other places far from the sun.
A Honeybee Robotics mockup of what a last boat can look like
Currently, interplanetary missions stop exploring when the spacecraft exits fuel.
"Every Once we lose our huge investment in time and money we spent building and shipping the spacecraft ill aim, Metzger says.
"WINE was designed to never run out of fuel so exploration will be cheaper.
" It also allows us to explore in less time, because we do not have to wait for years because a new spacecraft travels from Earth every time . "
The project is a result of the NASA Small Business Technology Transfer program, which encourages universities to collaborate with technology companies.
" The WINE-like spacecraft has the potential to change how we explore the universe. Kris Zacny, Vice President of Honeybee Robotics.
The team is now looking for partners to continue developing small spacecraft.