Jul 4, 2020

This steampunk-looking robot could be NASA’s newest way to explore frozen alien moons

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

NASA’s newest spacecraft concept looks like it belongs in a steampunk convention more than a distant moon, but that’s exactly where it’s supposed to be headed.

Steam power sounds like a relic of the Victorian era only glamorized by steampunk culture, but NASA is developing SPARROW (Steam Propelled Autonomous Retrieval Robot for Ocaen Worlds), a new steam-powered robot concept that could potentially unearth life on moons like Enceladus or Europa. Sure, our space agency might be known for the most cutting-edge technology, but even that could face potential disaster on frozen moons whose surfaces could be perilous. This relatively simple contraption is capable of doing things more complex robots can’t.

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