Archinaut 3D Printing Autonomous Space Manufacturing System
Archinaut enables autonomous 3D printing manufacture and assembly of spacecraft systems on orbit. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate selected the Made In Space project proposal for utilizing public-private partnerships to advance Tipping Point Technologies. Project Archinaut™, is designed to develop the first additive manufacturing, aggregation, and assembly of large and complex systems in space without astronauts to help.
Archinaut enables a wide range of in-space manufacturing and assembly capabilities by combining space- proven robotic manipulation with additive manufacturing demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS) and in terrestrial laboratories. Archinaut enables fundamentally new spacecraft designs and reduces the costs associated with qualifying a satellite for launch. The synergy of its manufacturing and assembly capabilities are critical to constructing entire spacecraft in orbit.
Traditionally, satellite design has been constrained by launch-shroud size and launch load/environment survivability requirements. Similarly, due to lift capacity limits and the high risk and low availability of astronaut EVA for assembly, creating large space-based structures such as space stations has been a once-in-a-generation endeavor. Archinaut minimizes or removes these and other design limitations.
An initial version of Archinaut is the Optimast™ boom manufacturing system. Optimast systems can be integrated into commercial satellites to produce large, space-optimized booms at a fraction of the cost of current deployables.
Other implementations of Archinaut enable in-space production and assembly of backbone structures for large telescopes, repair, augmentation, or repurposing of existing spacecraft, and unmanned assembly of new space stations. Spacecraft leveraging Archinaut are optimized for the space environment rather than the launch environment, enabling significantly more capable systems produced at lower costs as required for today’s commercial markets and NASA’s future mission needs.
When I read about this project, I immediately thought of the spider robot from Charles Sheffield's 1979 novel The Web Between the Worlds which extrudes building materials from its own body:
As Rob watched, the great, faceted eyes turned towards him. The Spiders were aware of his presence. Somewhere deep in their organic components lurked a hint of consciousness.
Corrie had been fascinated by them from the first moment she saw one. "Why eight legs?" she had asked.
Rob had shrugged. "It extrudes material like a spider. How many legs would you have given it?
Via and Made in Space - Archinaut.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/24/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
NASA's Electric Motor Scooter
'...all the [lunar] prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course'
Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.' - F.E. Hardart, 1941.
Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.' - Robert Heinlein, 1942.
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.
Neural Net Discovers Antibiotic
'...instantly the TEMS was ... creating and discarding scores of new sciences.'
China Delivery Robot Development Quickens During COVID-2019 Outbreak
'Something very much like a camouflage-painted kangaroo.'
Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'
Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'
Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'
CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'
Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'
Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'
Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'
The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'
Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'
Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories