The steam-powered locomotive featured in "Back to the Future Part 3" helped Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel through time. Now humanity wants to go "back to the future" and use steam power to reach the last limit of space.
University of Florida researchers (UCF) have teamed up with Honeybee Robotics to develop a steam-powered spacecraft known as World Is Not Enough (WINE). The researchers would extract water either from asteroids or from nearby "planetary bodies" to generate the steam needed for propulsion and reach the next mining target, the researchers said in a statement.
"It's great," said UCF planetary scientist Phil Metzger of the demonstration. "WINE has successfully mined the soil, made rocket fuel, and drilled with a Simulan steam jet.We could possibly use this technology to jump onto the Moon, Ceres, Europa, Titan, Pluto, the Mercury poles, asteroids ̵
HUMANITY BAD A SPACE VEHICLE IN AN ASTEROID IN A FEW YEARS TO SAVE ALL
In planetary bodies (for example, the Moon), Butcher added that WINE could theoretically fly and explore "forever".
The ability to travel by steam could have a tremendous impact on space exploration, as current missions do not rely on fuel from steam.
"Every time we lose our huge investments in time and money spent building and sending the spacecraft to its destination," Metzger added. "WINE has been designed to never run out of fuel, so exploration is cheaper, and we can do the reconnaissance in less time because we do not have to wait years, because every time a new spacecraft flies off the ground."  The WINE lander recently completed its first test mission, according to LiveScience. He succeeded in successfully removing a fake asteroid (the material was provided by the University of Central Florida) for water, converting the fluid into rocket fuel, and then hurling himself into the air.
CHINA EXCHANGED DATA WITH NASA FOR ITS HISTORIC MOON LANDING
Metzger said that three years have been spent developing the necessary technology to move from idea to reality, and is now looking for Partner to Develop the Vehicle This must happen before WINE can ever go into space. However, Metzger hopes that something could happen soon, as does Kris Zacny, Vice President of Honeybee Robotics.
CLICK HERE TO OBTAIN THE FOX NEWS App
. "The project was a collaborative effort between NASA, science and industry, and it was a tremendous success," Zacny said in the statement. "The WINE-style spaceships can change the way we explore the universe."
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia