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Space Science Technology

New Engine Raises Possibility of Cheap Travel To the Moon 100

shreshtha writes with this intriguing bit from The Daily Mail: "A tiny satellite thruster which can journey to the Moon on just a tenth of a litre of fuel could usher in a new low-cost space age, its creators hope. The mini-motor weights just a few hundred grams and runs on an ionic chemical compound, using electricity to expel ions and generate thrust. The tiny motor isn't built to blast satellites into orbit — instead, it's to help spacecraft manouevre once they're in space, which previously required bulky, expensive engines."
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New Engine Raises Possibility of Cheap Travel To the Moon

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  • Speed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @02:12PM (#39535459) Homepage
    I was under the impression that fuel to get to the moon isn't a major issue, if you can launch a few years before you need to be there. There's (almost) no friction to stop you...
  • Re:From Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @02:16PM (#39535477)

    Seriously, I can travel to the Moon with no fuel if I start in the right position with the right momentum. TFA doesn't tell us much unless the secrets are hidden in the video I'm blocking on the bottom of the page.

    Sorry to self-reply, but:

    Can we stop having summaries posted where the only link goes to the Daily Mail? Every human should be disgusted that our species can produce something as wretched and pathetic as that hive of stubborn ignorance.

  • Re:From Where? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2012 @03:18PM (#39535869)

    Wow. Just... wow. At first I thought the reason this was over-hyped was because it was in the Daily Fail. But no. You actually have it on your own press release.

    You, sir, are a charlatan. Perhaps you can get to the moon on a few "drops" (nice non-defined quantity there) of fuel, but you have to start in Earth orbit - ie in terms of energy 99% OF THE WAY THERE.

    If you had any decency at all, you would at least insist that your own headlines be something along the lines of "From Earth's Orbit to the Moon on 500g of fuel" or some such, and make clear in the first sentence that you're talking about 3Kg satellites, not entire space shuttles, but instead you imply that I can fill up a half-liter of fuel in my ship here, bid farewell to Cape Canaveral, and be on the moon shortly.

    This has really got to stop. Honest claims about genuine research are great, but this kind of overblown bullshit hurts all of science. When people find out that in fact you've just moved the goalposts so far that the goal you've achieved isn't anywhere near what you're advertising, they lose faith in all of us.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger