NASA to Create Kamikaze Spacecraft!

Yup, it’s true.  And the New Scientist puts it this way:

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.

Hmm … is it just us, or doesn’t it seem like it would be smarter to create craft who could just avoid crashing into each other?  No, that would be crazy.

And, come to think of it, what’s up with swarming space craft?  Is that even a good idea?  Especially if they’re in such risk of crashing into each other.  We think the people at NASA have watched the opening of Revenge of the Sith one too many times.


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