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NASA is planning on building things in space, with 3D printing Robot Spiders

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“This radically different approach to building space systems will enable us to create antennas and arrays that are tens-to-hundreds of times larger than are possible now, providing higher power, higher bandwidth, higher resolution, and higher sensitivity for a wide range of space missions."

 

“Once we’ve demonstrated that it works, we will be well on our way towards creating football-field sized antennas and telescopes to help search for Earth-like exoplanets and evidence of extraterrestrial life."

 

http://www.dvice.com/2013-8-30/nasa-wants-build-giant-spacecraft-3d-printing-spiders

 

http://www.tethers.com/SpiderFab.html

 

 

Thats pretty damn awesome. Once they get this up and running, NASA could build all kinds of things in space.. antennas, ships, moonbases.. O_O


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That's the only way to get anywhere with space travel. The ships that would be required for space travel would be way too large to take off from the surface. I don't think this tech is quite there yet. Don't get me wrong, the printers are there, there's a place near me that has one that the military uses. I went to see it for work, couldn't see it, classified BS, but he said most 3D printers, once it prints something, you have to file off the imperfections. However with the one they have, he said it's ready for use as soon as it comes out, nothing it wasted and it can print in almost any material, metals included. Pretty cool stuff, too bad I couldn't see it. Anyway he said it was a massive machine, had to be to be able to print in so many materials. So I think it would be difficult to get one to space, but not impossible, but I don't think the robots are quite there yet. I mean does NASA even have any robots that can make repairs unattended? Give it a 3D printer, if it messes up, it could be life or death, just like those cars that can brake on it's own, very dangerous if the computer malfunctions. 

 

http://duncanbanner.com/community-news-network/x484448371/New-Acura-RLX-can-steer-brake-accelerate-on-its-own


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Good post. Interesting about how big a 3D printer like that could be. But with the U.S. improving it's rockets to carry massive payloads weighing 70-140 metric tons, it should be possible for them to get space worthy versions into orbit.

 

http://www.space.com/22572-giant-rocket-launches-secret-spy-satellite.html

 

You're right about robots not being able to repair on their own. I don't think autonomous repairing droids will be happening anytime soon, but if those robots were drone styled, they could potentially be controlled by a human to perform the repairs necessary and correctly.


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I didn't realize they were sending such large satalites up. The 3D printer could probably also be scailed back since it wouldn't need to print in a huge variety of materials, probably mainly metals.

 

 

 

You're right about robots not being able to repair on their own. I don't think autonomous repairing droids will be happening anytime soon, but if those robots were drone styled, they could potentially be controlled by a human to perform the repairs necessary and correctly.

 

That's true, they could just be un-maned, that would work.

 

I'd say the only other potential problem would be keeping it in orbit while it's being made, it would have to be moved around as it was being made to maintain it's orbit. Which mean maneuvering thrusters etc, would be needed to keep it "afloat". A project like this could cost billions, but once everything was set up, they'd just have to launch rockets for materials, assuming it's fully un-maned.

 

Just thought of one more thing, I seen a show years ago about space debry. They said that it is very dangerous to everything in orbit. Which is why astronauts don't spend much time outside the space station. That could also be a concern and could potentially ruin the project. It may not be such a problem anymore, they said on the show that they were going to try and clean it up and this shows was on TV years ago. Just something else to think about lol

 

 

EDIT:

 

Found this http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/news/orbital_debris.html#.UnjyrnBnFiY It's interesting stuff. 500,000 pieces of debris and traveling up to 17,500mph, that's impressive. With all the debris, the larger the structure, the larger the threat.

 

 

 

In 1996, a French satellite was hit and damaged by debris from a French rocket that had exploded a decade earlier.

 

 

You'd think the pieces would eventually burn up in the atmosphere, but I guess the earths orbit keeps them up there. 

 

 

On Feb. 10, 2009, a defunct Russian satellite collided with and destroyed a functioning U.S. Iridium commercial satellite. The collision added more than 2,000 pieces of trackable debris to the inventory of space junk.

China's 2007 anti-satellite test, which used a missile to destroy an old weather satellite, added more than 3,000 pieces to the debris problem.

 

The China thing was a stupid idea, that stuff needs to be brought down with shuttles or broken up and burned up in the atmosphere.

Edited by Trigger

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The space debris problem is insane. I think the movie Gravity was focused around space debris destroying the space station in a worse case scenerio. With all that debris, the logistics of actually clearing it all out would be too massive an undertaking.

 

Good point about the project possibly needing adjustments during construction, I'm sure the space station needed adjustments during its construction too.  Low orbit satelites need those small adjustments because they hit trace particles of the earths atmosphere that eventually causes the orbit to fail. Its a slow process tho and I think alot of that space junk is farther out that its not affected.

 

As for the China missile shooting down a sattelite.. thats nothing compared the U.S. and Soviet Union exploding nukes in higher orbits than the ISS is currently at. O_O

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_nuclear_explosion

 

The U.S. and Soviet Union also have anti-satellite missiles too. I'm sure they must have tested them at different points too, adding to the space debris.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-satellite_weapon


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Yea it is a problem, the only way I can think of would be a magnet, but I don't have any clue if that would even be possible. The debris would probably go right through the magnet. The magnet would probably mess with their instruments and other satellites too, so I guess the plan for now is to just wait and hope they fall back to earth to burn up in the atmosphere. 

 

 

 

To maintain its orbit and perform necessary attitude maneuvers, the ISS is equipped with thrusters and Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs), i.e., spinning wheel momentum-storage devices which are powered by solar energy. Small attitude adjustments can be accomplished with CMGs. However, large-angle rotations carried out with the flight software require more momentum than CMGs can provide, resulting in saturation. For this reason, thrusters are used to rotate the ISS. But thrusters consume precious propellant and their plume can contaminate and stress the solar arrays.

 

 

Even the space station needs thruster to control and maintain it's orbit.

 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/274.html

 

On a side note, I don't know if this is true, (I would imagine it is) but I heard some satellites are equipped with thrusters for dodging and avoiding debris. Pretty interesting stuff, I've always been a big SCI-FI fan and reading up on this stuff kinda fuels that lol

 

Anyway I think this post has turned into a private conversation so this will be my last post.


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:doh: I forgot about that. The ISS is low orbit.. but even when I try to catch a glimpse of it in the sky at night, its always just below the tree line for me. NASA had a good page showing its flight path, but I haven't looked at it in a long time.

 

l think I had some Gundam Wing on my mind when I was thinking about large space construction. They made those colonies in the Lagrange points so they wouldn't have to worry about a degrading orbit. If NASA chose one of those locations, it'd probably make their construction easier.

 

I suppose we are the only ones discussing this, oh well, we can stop. Yay science! XD


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Its so amazing how much more of the movie is visible when there are no lens flares filling the screen. O_O

 

On another note.. when it finally does happen, that ship will probably be Indian or Chinese. The U.S. will have to pay for more seats and transportation.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/11/05/242997561/china-sets-ambitious-agenda-in-asian-space-race


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It definitely will not be the Chinese. They may be on the verge of becoming the world's superpower right now, but it will be short lived. Their obsession for male heirs eventually is going to cause a population issue when there are too few women (which is already kinda a problem). Their resources for scientists and soldiers will eventually become a serious issue. This could also be problematic if they decide to invade neighboring asian nations for its citizens if you know what I mean.


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GET A NEW FUNK ON BEFORE YOU GET DUMPED ON!

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Most of asia is low on women. They place far too much preference on males for cultural, manual labor and religious reasons.. gender selected artificial insemination and gender specific abortions push the gender gap even further. Instead of a nice diversified group of space travelers, we'll have a sausage fest up in space. -_-;

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_sex_ratio


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