Technology: Insect-like lander could be the future of space exploration - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyInsect-like lander could be the future of space exploration

07:20  14 november  2018
07:20  14 november  2018 Source:   cnet.com

Japan places landers on asteroid

  Japan places landers on asteroid Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft placed two small probes on the surface of an asteroid ."© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Rover-1B captured this image moments after the lander separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. The blurry area at upper left was caused by reflected sunlight. The landers were developed by JAXA, the Japanese space agency, and the University of Aizu. Known collectively as MINERVA-II1, both are equipped a stereo camera, a wide-angle camera and a thermometer, along with a novel mechanism that allows them to hop short distances in the asteroid's weak gravity.

Several space exploration missions are scheduled to occur in the future . The purpose of most of these missions is to launch spacecraft into space , providing information on nearby planets, asteroids

The planet Mars has been explored remotely by spacecraft. Probes sent from Earth, beginning in the late 20th century, have yielded a dramatic increase in knowledge about the Martian system

Insect-like lander could be the future of space exploration© Autodesk

You wouldn't accuse NASA's current crop of practical Mars landers and rovers of looking beautiful or exotic. A new type of lander envisioned by software company Autodesk and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is both gorgeous and wild.

Autodesk applied its expertise in generative design technology to the challenge of creating a lightweight but strong lander that could be deployed to worlds beyond Mars in the search for life in the solar system. NASA has its eyes on distant moons around Jupiter and Saturn, including the fascinating Enceladus.

SpaceX signs up startup seeking to explore the moon

  SpaceX signs up startup seeking to explore the moon A lunar-exploration company needs some help with its moon mission.Ispace, based in Tokyo, has contracted Elon Musk's company to launch its lunar equipment on Falcon 9 rockets in 2020 and 2021. The first mission will put a lunar lander in orbit around the moon, and the second will bring a lander onto the surface of the moon, where it'll deploy two rovers to collect data.

Humanity has a solid future in space , and the next generation of explorers is already alive and preparing for journeys to the Moon and beyond. Planetary exploration with robotic probes is ongoing. There are plans for asteroid, Moon, and Mars missions in the relatively near future .

The future of manned space exporation is bright, according to some space experts. Humans may one day tread across some of the alien worlds that today can be That form of exploration could come in a number of ways. In addition to kicking up dust on a moon or planet in the solar system, Steltzner

Autodesk says the generative design approach mimics evolution in nature. "Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as materials, manufacturing methods and cost constraints," the company says. The software can quickly develop design options and learn from its own work.

The concept lander created by the Autodesk and JPL collaboration has four legs and an an organic-looking body and looks like a science-fiction movie prop. The team used 3D printing, CNC milling and casting to create a physical model of the lander.

The lander design might not leave Earth anytime soon. "For now, the application of generative design is still officially considered a developmental research project within JPL," Autodesk says.

The concept lander made its public debut on Tuesday at the Autodesk University conference in Las Vegas.

Insect-like lander could be the future of space exploration© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. landermainstage

NASA's Mars lander takes selfie from above with robotic arm.
NASA's new Mars lander has taken a selfie from above, using a camera on its long robotic arm. The InSight lander snapped a series of pictures that NASA turned into a stunning mosaic released Tuesday. InSight landed on Mars on Nov. 26. In the two weeks since, scientists are thrilled to find the area in front of the spacecraft pretty much free of rocks, hills and holes. That should make it a safe place for InSight's two geology experiments, which will be moved to the ground in the coming weeks. Lead scientist Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the red sandy expanse might seem "pretty plain" — if it weren't on Mars.

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