The power of steam can create a future for space travel. No, this is not a joke. Half a century after the world's first space mission, it seems that interplanetary travel is nearing its realization.
Scientists from the University of Central Florida have teamed up with the private space and mining company Honeybee Robotics to create a small steam-powered spacecraft. The idea is that it will be able to suck up fuel from the asteroids, planets and satellites that it explores.
The constant process of transforming extraterrestrial water into vapor will theoretically allow the descent capsule to move between the planets throughout the galaxy. The main condition is to land at a location where you can get H2O. This technology can be used to "jump" on the moon, Ceres, Europe, Titan, Pluto, the poles of Mercury and asteroids. The right place should have water and a fairly low level of gravity. In fact, it is a self-sufficient apparatus capable of exploring space without stopping. The development was called WINE, and the prototype ship recently completed the first test mission on the simulated surface of an asteroid. With the help of a compact drilling tool, the descent vehicle successfully produced water, converted H2O into rocket fuel, and started into “space” on steam engines.
Of course, the mention of steam brings us back to the fantasy of primitive and rusty tools. However, it took 3 years to develop new computer models and steam thrust equations to help WINE optimize performance in accordance with the changing gravitational requirements of the environment. If such a device is in space, then the built-in solar panels will provide it with the initial energy reserve necessary for the first drilling at an alien celestial object.