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http://www.gizmag.com/mechanical-tra...g-parts/16431/

Quote:
Satellites and other spacecraft, like most machines, have parts that move against one another. Unlike most machines, however, they operate in extremely cold conditions, their power source is often very limited, and lubricating or repairing them are not exactly easy tasks. It is for these reasons that researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are coordinating the three-year MAGDRIVE project â€" an international effort to create a mechanical transmission with no touching parts, that doesn’t need any lubrication.

There would be several advantages to such a system. For one thing, conventional lubricants freeze solid at the cryogenic temperatures (around -200C/-328F) of outer space. Then, even if they could stay fluid, there’s the whole question of how to reapply them in space â€" this is a particularly valid point for unmanned spacecraft. Even when lubricated, interlocking moving components ultimately wear each other down, so fixing the spacecraft also becomes an issue.
But haven't we already had spacecrafts floating out there for years?
This is an interesting idea though, longevity is always a good thing.
 

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Dream with your eyes open
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Cool, would like to see how they pull this off.
 

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Technology like this would revolutionize machines as we know it, heat and wear caused by friction would be a thing of the past. If the technology didn't require enormous amounts of power or could only operate at -200 F.
 

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Iconoclast
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It's a magnetic transmission for use in satellites.

It will probably work at a huge variety of temperatures (that satellites are regularly exposed to) and required very little in the way of power (because satellites don't have much).

It will also likely cost a fortune.
 

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hydrostatic works the same way except it uses oil to move parts. there is no physical connection from the input to the output. just these weird hollow metal fingers mounted on a round drum inside.
 
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