Interplanetary travel has entered into the era of steam age again when they first decided for a manned space mission. Astronomers from University of Central Florida (UCF) collaboated with Honeybee Robotics, mining tech company in California, to build a steam-powered spacecraft that has the capability to suck fuel from the asteroids, planets and moons other than the earth.
This small steam-powered spacecraft will be able to suck the energy by vigorously turning extraterrestrial water into steam and using this steam to power itself for infinite number by hopping onto any star or planet, uptaking water as its fuel.
“We could potentially use this technology to hop on the moon, Ceres, Europa, Titan, Pluto, the poles of Mercury, asteroids — anywhere there is water and sufficiently low gravity,” Phil Metzger, a UCF space scientist and one of the chief minds behind the steampunk starship, said in a statement. Metzger added that such a self-sufficient spacecraft could explore the cosmos “forever.”
Metzger and his colleagues call this mini spacecraft as lander WINE where “WINE” stands for “World Is Not Enough”. The first mission of this WINE completed on a simulated asteroid surface founded in California. The WINE used a small compact driller that converted the water into steam and used that steam water to upthurst and launch itself into the air.
“Steam-powered spaceship” might sound as an old fashioned, some rusty bucket of bolt, however the building and structure of this machine is very complex than we can really think of. In order to get the model to function properly, Metzger spent three years in the development of this machine to help it recognize and also to optimize the new steam propulsion computer models and equations to help WINE optimize varying gravitational demands of different planets, asteroids, moons or even stars. If WINE is successfully launched into the space, the naturally occurring galaxy sources will be able to provide enough to start these off-world drilling operations.
The successful test run will decide for the future of these lander before they could be successfully launched into the actual space environment. NASA has worked on these projects really hard and knows their worth and seeking ways such as by teaming up with other partners to project these mini steam-based spacecrafts known to be WINE into the other world.