NASA Windbots To Explore Gaseous Planets, R&D Underway

Science / Tech

NASA wants to explore Jupiter and other gaseous planets with a new robot, NASA Windbots, that will fly in the atmosphere, fueled by turbulence. Space exploration has been one thing the world has been united in pursuing since the very beginning. National rivalries in the space race only increased innovation and without that competition, you might wonder how much longer it would have taken any nation to make it to the moon and beyond. Now we have robots on mars, we’ve put a man on the moon, sent probes through solar system, the most recent of which collecting stunning pictures of Pluto. Naturally, NASA and the rest of us want to explore further.

In order to explore further, NASA is going to have to create a new mechanism and machine. Gaseous planets such as Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, and Uranus have no surface to land on, but do have a significant gravitational pull. These conditions call for a machine that can fly in the atmosphere of a planet and collect data on it’s composition. Solar is simply not a strong enough power source to keep a machine with the necessary life in the air, not to mention in space the sun disappears for half the day, and in a storm like one found on Jupiter, solar would be very ineffective. Enter Windbot, a flying machine that uses the turbulence of a gaseous planets atmosphere to power itself. This would allow the Windbot to exist in the atmosphere for a long period of time, relying only on extreme weather in a planets atmosphere.

This idea is still a concept, though with $100,000 in funding, research is beginning and the first step is gathering an in-depth understanding of Jupiter’s weather, the first planet this technology would be used on if it comes to fruition.

Let us know your thoughts on a Windbot. Do you think the idea is feasible or do you thing NASA needs to step back into reality? Drop us a line in the comments or on any of our social media!

  Source: The Times Gazette
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