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CosmosUp | August 14, 2022

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Unbelievable Technology: NASA Spider-Like Droids Could Build A Home For Mankind In Space

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Unbelievable Technology: NASA Spider-Like Droids Could Build A Home For Mankind In Space

One of the consistently difficult hurdles for space exploration is cost. With dwindling governmental support the initiative has moved toward the private sector.

One company, called Tethers Unlimited is developing a futuristic “Arachnid-like” droid system, funded by the North American Space Agency, that hopes to help humanity’s journey into – and settlement in – outer-space.

The Nasa-back firm says it could dramatically reduce the cost of building spacecraft by allowing the final construction to take place in orbit.

According to the researchers, SpiderFab will enable “on-orbit fabrication of large spacecraft components such as antennas, solar panels, trusses, and other multifunctional structures.”

“SpiderFab provides order-of-magnitude packing- and mass- efficiency improvements over current deployable structures and enables construction of kilometer-scale apertures within current launch vehicle capabilities, providing higher-resolution data at lower life-cycle cost,” Tethers said.

“The net payoff will be to enable NASA to acquire and distribute a variety of forms of data at higher resolution, higher bandwidth, higher signal-to-noise, and lower life-cycle cost.”

“Our really long-term objective for all of this work is to eventually enable the use of in-situ resources to construct the infrastructure in space needed to support humanity’s expansion throughout the solar system,” Dr. Robert Hoyt claimed last month during a presentation with NASA’s Future In-Space Operations (FISO) working group.

Hoyt hopes that SpiderFab could be implemented in the next decade or so.

“In a perfect world — if funding flowed and the contracting process didn’t drag on forever — we think we could get to be able to build very large support structures for antennas and solar arrays, and those sorts of components, in the early 2020s.”


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