The steam engine is in the top ten inventions that changed the world beyond recognition. Steam, as a power source, began to be used in 1700-ies, but since that time mankind has made many other discoveries, and today these engines are used in few places. Perhaps in the future technology will restore its relevance — scientists want to use the steam for increasing the duration of operation of space probes. It is believed that the devices will be able to work indefinitely, eating a load of ice from asteroids and other objects.
The idea was invented by researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Californian company called Honeybee Robotics. Together they created a prototype of a probe with a steam power of the new product is called WINE, which stands for “World Is Not Enough” or “the World is not enough”. As for the last 60 years mankind has studied many comets and asteroids, experts believe that the device will be able to fly endlessly on the energy produced at the surface melt water.
Armed with the idea, professionals from Honeybee Robotics and the University of aerobiologia Embry-riddle has already created a prototype of a WINE. For was based on computer models and simulation research scientist Phil Metzger, and artificial models of asteroids were provided by the University of UCF. The first demonstration of WINE on 31 December 2018.
The dimensions of the probe WINE comparable to the size of a home microwave oven. Working on regular fuel it would need constant refueling and his mission would have lasted for a relatively short time. With steam power it can work until then, until his life, and he can be very lengthy. In addition to increasing the duration of the mission, a return to the old type of food can significantly reduce the cost of space research.
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