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Swarming spacecraft to self-destruct for


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
Future space probes that operate in cooperative swarms must commit hara-kiri if they begin to fail and risk damaging their comrades, says a recent patent application by NASA.

The agency foresees a day when space missions are undertaken not by one large spacecraft but by swarming formations of much smaller, cheaper ones.Such craft could collectively provide a "floating optics" system for a space telescope comprising separate craft flying in formation, for instance.

However, should one spacecraft in such a swarm begin to fail and risk a calamitous collision with another, it must sense its end is nigh and put itself on a course that takes it forever away from the swarm – for the greater good of the collective.

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Presumably then, there would be some way for the crew (if any) to escape and to be rescued, and for the remaining craft to avoid collision with the wreckage . . .

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very interesting. it makes sense for them to operate that way.

Edited by a vampire wears my boxers
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Presumably then, there would be some way for the crew (if any) to escape and to be rescued, and for the remaining craft to avoid collision with the wreckage . . .

Uhm... I think the whole idea behind this is that the vehicles are autonomous, 'cuz really, if you think about it for a bit longer than a nanosecond, why would a vehicle with a crew need to be able to "sense its end is nigh and put itself on a course that takes it forever away from the swarm"...?

Cz

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  • 4 weeks later...

Suicidal drones. Interesting.

I can't help but see some Darwinistic metaphor in that.

LOL.

"Oh, brave new world!"

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