aAttempts to recreate hoverboards seen in Back to the future II So far either disappointing Two-wheeled self-balancing vehicles It often catches fire, or jet powered floating platforms Requiring A very skilled pilot. But as MIT engineers recently proposed, creating a moving vehicle might not be so difficult if we all lived on the surface of the seaoon.
Most highly maneuverable flying vehicles created to date completely dependent on Earth’s atmosphere to take in the sky. Airplane wings need air to generate lift, while propellers need air to generate thrust. Rockets don’t need the atmosphere to propel themselves or the vehicle – this is how we managed to send humans into spaceBring them back safely to Earth – but as reusable vehicles that require significant servicing and refuelingEfforts after the trip before it can be used again.
This is why we tend to rely on wheeled vehicles to explore other celestial bodies that don’t have enough atmospheres to support flight. But the rover withstands a lot of wear and tear across a barren rocky terrain, even when operating at limited speeds for safety reasons. Flying in the sky, as a helicopter could get creative on Mars, is a safer way to explore another planet or celestial bodies like asteroids at higher speeds to dramatically increase their exploration range, but that’s not an option in places like the Moon.
Lack of atmosphere is not necessarily a problem, and In fact, it can actually be an advantage. Leaves the surface of the moon exposed directly to the sun, This creates an electric field strong enough to create Dust particles actually float (Not unlike the effects of static electricity on the hair of a volunteer in a science center). Surface charges are not strong enough to withstand A small, lightweight plane floats against the moon’s gravitational pull, but MIT engineers have come up with another approach “to generate a relatively large repulsive force between the craft and the Earth” that could allow a craft as heavy as 2 Pounds for soaring across the surface of the moon.
Getting a larger lunar lander depends on a two-part strategy. The first is to equip the car with miniature ionic impellers connected to a tank of molten salt at room temperature. When a small voltage is applied to the molten salt, “the ions of the liquid are charged and emitted in the form of a beam through the holes with a certain force.” It’s an idea that has already been used to propel small spacecraft into space where gravitational forces are minimal. To make a small craft fly over the surface of the moon, that still suffers from one-sixth Earth’s gravity, MIT engineers crunched the numbers and concluded that additional thrusts could be added to release positive ions that would increase the electrical charge of the moon’s surface, Thus, a stronger force is generated that pushes the rover toward the air.
Minimum of Energy will be needed to lift 2– pound rover about one centimeter above the surface of the moon. To test the idea, the researchers built a lightweight test vehicle (about 60 grams) the size of a palm in a lab with one ion thruster pointing up to simulate the moon’s gravity, four pointing down to face it, and other components, Including pulsators “calibrated to counter the force of Earth’s gravity,” to better recreate conditions on the Moon. The results of the experiment matched the expected theoretical results, but the researchers believe that the sea-surface rover operating in this way could float at a higher altitude, or potentially be built heavier with additional science instruments on board.
The ultimate goal is to create a rover that takes advantage of the unique conditions on our solar system’s moons and asteroids to facilitate exploration and maneuvering over unknown terrain by simply floating on top of it – eliminating the additional complexities of wheeled vehicles entirely. Does that mean that if and when astronauts return to the moon, they will slide from crater to crater on surfboards? Lifting a two-pound craft is a much easier task than lifting a 180-pound astronaut wearing a 280-pound spacesuit, but this new approach hasn’t actually been tested on our celestial neighbour, so it remains to be seen how far the technology can be pushed. What we do know is that there are at least no large bodies of water on the Moon to thwart an exciting hunt for a flying kite.