Not everything that drives progress looks worthy of an artist's brush. For example, the substance for the operation of solid rocket engines resembles a very viscous semolina. And the process of mixing it can cause gagging, but what is worse - the detonation of its components. Therefore, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has developed a new and unusual way to obtain the mixture.
Solid fuel for rocket engines contains a substance with very high stored energy, an oxidizing agent, and various binders. They must be very carefully and evenly distributed over the entire volume of the finished product, otherwise it will not be possible to achieve stable engine operation. But in the process of the physical impact of the mixer on the components, there is already a risk of detonation, and it takes a long time to mix the substance.
Japanese engineers took the idea from living intestines and created a robot that transports a mixture of substances through a set of flexible containers with valves. Displacement is created by decreasing the pressure in one container and increasing it in another, in this process there is no shock, no friction and no risk of detonation. And since the working substance is distributed over most of the volume of the structure, critical mass does not accumulate anywhere.
The downside of the robot is obvious - it is too leisurely. But to launch a rocket with a height of 17-storey building, you need a lot of solid fuel, at a rate of 6 tons per second. Fueling space rockets takes millions of liters of fuel, NASA says. But they like the idea of building thousands of such robots and enclosing them in a single, extra-long "gut" - let them mix fuel for future needs safely and leisurely.