Chinese Scientists Say It Is Possible To Develop Fuel-Free Spacecraft
Is it really possible to create a spacecraft that does not run on fuel? This is the question Chinese scientists are facing in their yet another ambitious goal of expanding their horizons in deep space. Chinese scientists have said that developing a fuel-free spacecraft is possible with the help of sunlight to power it.
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Physics professor Tian Jianguo and chemistry professor Chen Yongsheng, of Nankai University in Tianjin, said that building a fuel-free spacecraft is very possible with the use of graphene, a fullerene of carbon atoms, Want China Times has learned.
In a study published in the journal Nature Photonics, Yongsheng and Tian explained how they derived with the idea that graphene could be the material that could make this ambitious theory possible. They noted that via an experiment, they found out that "graphene sponge"—fused crumpled graphene oxide sheets—is capable of moving forward using a lens and ordinary sunlight.
"While the propulsion force is still smaller than conventional chemical rockets, it is already several orders larger than that from light pressure," the Chinese scientists noted in their study.
For now, the idea of building a fuel-free spacecraft still has a long way to go, but Chinese scientists are very optimistic that this can be a major breakthrough in the near future.
The interesting study comes amid China's recent announcement of a new creation-a charged couple device (CCD) imaging optical sensor that can be used in ensuring the safety of spacecraft docking on space stations in the outer space, Popular Science reports.
The new technology is being regarded as the "super eye," since the optical sensor can help spaceships moving at "eight times the speed of a bullet" to dock on space stations.
Chinese Academy of Science and Technology (CAST) designer Gong Dezhu said this advanced technology weighs less and consumes less power than all of its international rivals.
Meanwhile, it appears that China is very serious when it comes to establishing bridges and building friendly relations with other nations.
Asia's Sleeping Giant and the United States recently announced their desire to help mitigate the ill effects of climate change to the different bodies of water, as previously reported.
However, their friendly relationship was quickly tainted when the Pentagon said that the Chinese government is actually challenging the superiority of the U.S. both in air and space with its new technologies, according to Today Online.
The Pentagon's chief operating officer said that by creating advanced missiles, high-end electronic warfare devices and radar-evading aircraft, China is "quickly closing the technological gaps" between them and the U.S.
The officer went on to say that they "cannot overlook the competitive aspects of our relationship, especially in the realm of military capabilities, an area in which China continues to improve at a very impressive rate."