One of the biggest limitations with space travel has to deal with fuel. It takes a massive amount of it just to leave the Earth’s atmosphere, and then the rocket needs to make it to its destination, and then (ideally) make its way back home. And all that fuel takes up a lot of space which creates more weight, meaning you need more fuel. It is an endless cycle of needing more…to do more…so you need more…to do more. Which makes long space flights difficult to plan for. Aerospace engineers (rocket scientists) are always looking for new ways to power spacecraft, and one team from the University of Central Florida is working in partnership with Honeybee Robotics, and have found a way that would make the creators of early engines proud.
These innovators have devised a system that uses steam power for their ships. Yes, you read that correctly, steam! As in hot water vapor. Not exactly what you would think of when imagining space travel right? Well they have decided to try just that, and are actually fairly successful as they have tested a prototype already..and it worked! The ship drills into the ground where it lands, pulls up some good ol’ H2O and uses the steam generated from that water to take off. Pretty amazing if you ask me! Now obviously the ship can only go where there is water to pull up, but as we are discovering, it may not quite be as rare in the universe as we once thought. Either way, this is an incredibly unique system and shows that even old technology can be used to power the future.