Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Asteroid Cleaner Robot To Sweep Up Dust Around The Solar System

Sometimes, space explorers really need to get down to the nitty gritty. As in, analyzing the dusty layers of low-gravity moons or asteroids. The ESA is ready with robots that collect and analyse the surface dust on far-away worlds. As you might imagine, it's tricky - in low gravity a simple drill or scoop would just push the lander away from the surface.


(Asteroid cleaner)

This prototype model uses three rotating brushes that also circle in the horizontal plane to scoop dust into a container for analysis. It is designed to collect at least 100 g within 20 seconds.

Designed and built by Added Value Solutions of Spain, the machine automatically detects the distance between the brushes and the surface to adapt as necessary, collect the dust, and direct it into a hermetically sealed box for storage and analysis.

Everything looks promising on Earth, but will it work without gravity? To check it in action, the prototype will fly on ESA’s 64th parabolic aircraft campaign later this month, providing more than 90 bursts of microgravity lasting 20 seconds at a time.

Over the course of three days it will scoop up particles ranging from a few 0.001 mm up to pebbles of 3 cm. The samples can be analysed at the end of each day, and a camera will record progress so that the operators can adjust settings between the bouts of weightlessness.

I confess, of my own free will, that I've never encountered the idea of a asteroid dust-collecting robot in any of the science fiction I've read (if you know of one, ping me @technovelgy).

However, I thought this item was so appealing that I couldn't resist it. And here's a pretty similar idea.

Some readers may be thinking of Project Scoop, from Michael Crichton's 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain.

In theory, JPL was designing a satellite to enter the fringes of space and collect organisms and dust for study. This was considered a project of pure science...

In fact, the true aims were quite different. The true aims of Scoop were to find new life forms that might benefit the Fort Detrick program. In essence, it was a study to discover new biological weapons of war.

In the novel, Project Scoop merely orbited the earth, and did not visit other worlds.

Via ESA.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/8/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

NASA Tests Prototype Europa Lander
Why have legs if they don't walk around? Just asking.

NASA's Psyche Mission To Metal Asteroid Launches Thursday!
'We can even fuel the space ships and mine the Asteroid Belt for rare metals...'

Space Weather To Universe Weather
'It radiates outward in a cone which, by the time it has reached our section of space, is many lightyears across.' - Poul Anderson, 1953.

That's MOXIE! Terraforming Mars Baby Steps
'Drake was the young spatial engineer he employed to terraform the little rock.' - Jack Williamson, 1931.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Wearable Energy Harvester
'... he had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action from the motion of breathing.'

Drones Participate In Buddhist Rites
'...a prayer wheel swung into view and began spinning at a furious pace.'

Anna Indiana AI Singer-Songwriter
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents'

Video Manicuring ala Schismatrix
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time'

'Feel the AGI' OpenAI Leader Now OpenWorship
'And are all the people willing to be governed by a machine?'

NASA Tests Prototype Europa Lander
Why have legs if they don't walk around?

Tailsitter Drone Aircraft For SAR
'...it was so easy for me to remain motionless in midair.'

Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'

Mika The Robot-Boss
'the robot-boss was busy at the lip of the new lode instructing and egging the men on to greater speed...'

Yamaha Motoroid 2 No Handlebars Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He rode the bike with an intense lack of physical grace...'

San Francisco Autobus
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street...'

Should Your Car Decide If You Can Drive?
'Okay. Maybe the car was right...'

Lucid Dreams On Demand From Prophetic and Card79
'the peeper did not operate by virtue of its machinery alone, but by the reaction of the brain and the body of its user...'

Honda UNI-ONE Hands-Free Wheelchair Follows 100 Year-Old Design
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'

EBS-260 Handjet Free Hand Dot Matrix Printer
'McKie held a chalf-memory stick over the dusted surface.'

Sensitive, Soft Robot Skin
'...tinted material that had all the feel and appearance of human flesh and epidermis.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.