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Space & Astronomy

Swarming spacecraft could self-destruct

September 8, 2010 | Comment icon 5 comments



Image Credit: University of Glasgow
Future missions involving swarms of spacecraft could see one of the group self-destruct for the good of the collective.
Whereas these days space missions usually involve only one spacecraft in the future we may see missions that include swarms of robotic probes moving in formation, if this happens and one of the swarm breaks down then it may have to self-destruct in order to avoid a collision that could further endanger the group.
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.


Source: New Scientist | Comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lapras 12 years ago
My God...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Herebedragons 12 years ago
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 . . .
Comment icon #3 Posted by a vampire wears my boxers 12 years ago
very interesting. it makes sense for them to operate that way.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Czero 101 12 years ago
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
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sevastiel 12 years ago
Suicidal drones. Interesting. I can't help but see some Darwinistic metaphor in that. LOL. "Oh, brave new world!"


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