Monday, December 19, 2005
I just saw this in the latest email from KurzweilAI.net - space spiders! The idea is to have small "spider" robots construct large structures such as solar power arrays by crawling over a flexible web-like substrate deployed in space without the use of a conventional (large and heavy) rigid framework. A sub-orbital test of the concept will launch January 18 in Japan. The "Furoshiki satellite" is a joint project with NASDA, ESA, Vienna University of Technology, and Kobe University. Such large structures could be used for solar power satellites, antennas, and other things.