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Steam-powered space probe could work forever

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South Alabam

Novel idea, it just doesn't seem practical after so long of a time however. Technology would bypass the obvious slow nature of this craft.

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OverSword

Already posted

 

Probably my fault for putting it in the Science and Technology section.

Edited by OverSword

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Gecks

Fantastic way to think outside the box! But yes, who knows if it will be a practical reality.

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DieChecker

It often seems like this type of probe is always short on room for equipment, and if it has to carry mining equipment, it will be able to do even less science.

It would probably be an OK method for a "Workhorse" type probe that travels around and just take pictures, but one that is looking at material composition and chemicals in ice, and such, isn't going to work well, IMHO, with a probe that has to carry a bunch of mining/processing equipment with it.

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moonman

I never thought I would see an actual steampunk spacecraft.

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OverSword

And here is the required extra vehicular suit

75a592fc1b5a581bf80240379b8db7b1.jpg

  • Haha 1

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DieChecker
44 minutes ago, OverSword said:

And here is the required extra vehicular suit

75a592fc1b5a581bf80240379b8db7b1.jpg

Are the mutton chops required, or just suggested?

  • Haha 2

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MyOtherAccount

I suggested that there be thought about the expenses of not making mission equipment available for reuse.  (See quote below)  Little did I know--apparently little did the others members know--people were planning on making improvements in that area of space missions.

On 11/13/2018 at 11:32 PM, MyOtherAccount said:

Yeah and it seems like such a waste!  If a probe is nearly out of fuel, it is too bad we can't put it in a trajectory that will sling it to another target we might not know anything about. I could be somewhere closer to the sun so that the system can stay charged up. That would stretch the dollar a bit more. Once it is in space the really expensive part has been done. Hey, maybe in the sling it could approach the each to be refitted or such. Just a fun thought... 

The only responses I got, that might be of interest to members are below.  I guess those were responses, anyway...

On 11/14/2018 at 5:51 AM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

How do you do that when it's nearly out of fuel?

The entire point of being out of fuel is that you can't send it anywhere. Even if you could use some magical system to send it somewhere else, when it arrives, if it has no fuel, it can't point and do science.

Basically what you are suggesting would take a spacecraft that is nearly dead and kill it quicker.

 

On 11/15/2018 at 4:25 AM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

It would take a HUGE amount of fuel to send the spacecraft back to Earth, fuel it didn't have.

No spacecraft has ever been refuelled in space, it is a technology still in it's infancy with experiments ongoing. Dawn was launched 11 years ago.

I'm not sure you are grasping the implications of being low on fuel in deep space, you can't just drive to the nearest garage and fill up. Dawn took 4 years to reach the asteroid belt... and it need a fly-by of Mars to make it that quickly. It took it 2½ years to get from Vesta to Ceres.

So basically what you are suggesting is to use fuel an ageing spacecraft doesn't have to make a trip of at least four years to be refuelled with technology we don't have so that it can make another trip of at least 4 years. Does that make sense to you?

Why send it somewhere else when it still had things to learn at Ceres? (In fact NASA actually looked at the idea of sending it to a third asteroid but decided that there was more to be gained by remaining in orbit around Ceres).

What all the off-topic waffle about ambiguity is about I have no idea, but if you want an unambiguous statement how about this: when it comes to deep space exploration NASA really know what they are talking about. You really don't.

 

Edited by MyOtherAccount
to try to switch on Notify me of replies!

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Jon the frog

It make me think of doc Brown... with is steam time machine.

 

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