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Steam-powered spaceship could cruise the cosmos indefinitely

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posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 03:38 AM
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Full title is: Steam-powered spaceship could cruise the cosmos indefinitely without running out of gas.. I suppose transportation once again makes a full circle as it is possible to travel the cosmos by steam power. Solar sails, Steam power, rocket fuel, Laser powered, nuclear powered...and whatever comes next..

Using natural available resources for propulsion makes a lot of sense to me and this will be a very important invention if the mining of asteroids is to ever become a reality..


"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 the lander WINE (short for “World Is Not Enough”), and a prototype of the craft recently completed its first test mission on a simulated asteroid surface in California. Using a compact drilling apparatus, the lander successfully mined the fake comet for water, converted that H20 into rocket propellant and launched itself into the air using a set of steam-powered thrusters.

www.nbcnews.com...




posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 04:00 AM
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interesting.
At least people are thinking unconventionally conventional.
the Company "Honeybee Robotics" that helped develop this, has developed other space mining products.
I think this is about mining!

What will they think of next, the horseless rover?



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 04:01 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Seems logical, might have something here with all the accounts of people seeing ufo's sucking up water. Either that or they are refilling their in-ufo pools.



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 04:13 AM
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Heat water to get steam.

Um, heat, where is that coming from?

Turning water into fuel? Why aren't we doing that with cars?

Solar Power is not going to work when you are that far from the Sun.

Even as close as Mars, you need to take the reduced solar footprint into consideration.

So ... no.

P



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 04:14 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

no mention of the power source or did I miss it in the link?

radio isotopic would be the driver I suspect.

f



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 05:26 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky




mined the fake comet for water, converted that H20 into rocket propellant and launched itself into the air using a set of steam-powered thrusters.


Something about that paragraph doesn’t make any sense. My understanding is converting water into rocket propellant isn’t cost effective/energy efficient. If that rocket propellant is in fact steam why doesn’t it say that?

if this is genuine, this technology could be rolled out to power all kinds of engines. I wonder how it works?



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 05:35 AM
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originally posted by: fakedirt
a reply to: 727Sky

no mention of the power source or did I miss it in the link?

radio isotopic would be the driver I suspect.

f




Ummm...the little nuclear reactor that could...?





YouSir



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 07:42 AM
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Nice entry into the topic....now lets dig deeper....it will be the energy harvested from the transition of water from one state to another that fuels this endeavour...more energy than we can now imagine.



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 07:53 AM
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I say we could use large rubber bands, since the Earth is flat. And use tether ropes to return. A new use for Hemp, good old rope.



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 08:09 AM
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originally posted by: Plotus
I say we could use large rubber bands, since the Earth is flat. And use tether ropes to return. A new use for Hemp, good old rope.



Ummm...quite so...my good man...

Why...until a lower grade variety of hemp rope fails and the kinetic energy of all those unspent rubber twistings ceased to be halted...and this most steampunkish cobble of gauges and rubber bands...fell off the edge...

Of course...you know what that means...they'll have skidded right past that part where it is printed..."Here there be Dragons"...

Ah well...such is the sacrifice one undertakes for science...besides...don't the Dragons need to be fed...?


Jolly good show...










YouSir
edit on 15-1-2019 by YouSir because: of the serious nature of the conversation...



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Choo! Choo! "Track 29, Boys"!



The picture really is Train In Space. A guy sent his son's favourite toy 18 miles up on a weather balloon.

How fascinating. It wouldn't be Speedy Gonzales, but if star gazing with no hurry is your bag and you don't mind waiting a fair few hundred years to reach Alpha Centauri this would be just the ticket.

Hey Mr Station Master, can I have a single to Alpha Centauri, better take the sleeper service! Different kind of escapades on the D Train.



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358

They better take plenty of coal and some mining picks to mine the coal from any planets they stop off at.




posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 09:32 AM
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I always thought that helium as a superfluid should be able to be made to be able to power some sort of engine.
The problem is keeping the temperature low enough so that it is a superfluid.



posted on Jan, 15 2019 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Just adding my two cents.

A nuclear power generation plant uses nuclear fission to release energy in the form of heat. That heat is transferred to water and then, either through a single or double loop system, the pressure and volume increase to the point that the water can become steam. That steam, in turn, turns the turbine and produces electricity.

The big issue with the proposed spaceship is in finding pure water (no contaminants) and, depending on the reactor, regular h2o for a light-water reactor or deuterium for a heavy-water reactor.

Light-water reactors need more enriched uranium than heavy-water reactors, so there are a number of trade-offs to consider.

One is that deuterium might be more abundant in places where cosmic rays have a greater impact and aren't mitigated by a planetary electromagnetic shield. It could be that regular h2o is rare.

Another is shielding. You need to ensure that the reactor is protected from external radiation that could potentially push the reactor into a super-critical or sub-critical phase. A heavy-water reactor is more easily influenced than a light-water reactor.





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