TAMPA (FOX 13) - A team of Bay Area IT guys are on a mission to help NASA explore the depths of space. They also have their sights set on a million-dollar prize.
Miles Space Inc. has already won $100,000 from NASA for its small cube satellite and its tiny, water-powered engines that can carry a special satellite into deep space.
Wesley Faler of Miles Space says those 14 little engines will prove water can be the rocket fuel of the future.
"We think [using water as fuel] opens the door for people extracting minerals in deep space. They're going to have a lot of water left over, which means that can be put to use for more exploration," said Faler.
At a tiny lab inside a Tampa warehouse, Faler and his team are testing their pint-sized, water-fueled thrusters that emit a purple light.
Faler explained it doesn't take much force to push a satellite into deep space.
"About as much thrust as putting a paper clip on the tip of your finger," he said.
Their Miles cube satellite will be carried into space by an S-L-S Rocket in late 2019 or early 2020. The satellite's thrusters will then propel it 12 million kilometers into deep space.
It will carry STEM experiments from high school and college students and transmit the data back to earth.