Gecko-inspired wall-crawling robot could someday be used in space

Abigaille, a robot inspired by the gecko.

Inspired by the gecko, a robot that crawls up walls has taken a small but important step towards a future in space, scientists said on Thursday. The tiny legged prototype could be the forerunner of automatons that crawl along the hulls of spacecraft, cleaning and maintaining them, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

 

 

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‘Sticky boom’ – a sticky solution for grabbing objects in space

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ein_J_EuAb8&hd=1[/youtube]

For one spacecraft to grab onto another spacecraft in space is a very challenging task. Although the robotic arms on the space shuttles and International Space Station (ISS) have made it look easy over the years, the process requires complex manipulator arms and special fixtures on the objects the arms are grasping, limiting the technology’s use. A small startup company is testing a new approach, though, that could greatly expand the applications of robotic arm technology to include, for example, cleaning up orbital debris and servicing the ISS.

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Space Adventures to Offer Commercial Spaceflight Opportunities to the ISS with Three Seats Available in 2013

Dennis Tito

Space Adventures became world-renowned 10 years ago with the launch of Dennis Tito, the world’s first privately-funded space explorer.

Space Adventures, the only company that has provided human space mission opportunities to the world marketplace, announced today the conclusion of an agreement with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) and Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) to commercially offer three seats on the Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS), beginning in 2013.

 

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Emerging Technologies May Fuel NASA’s Revolutionary Spacecraft Launcher

nasa-mach-10-concept

A potential design for a rail-launched aircraft and spacecraft that could revolutionize the launch business.

As if launching a shuttle flanked by massive booster rockets that peel away as it ascends isn’t hardcore enough, NASA is looking into building a next gen spacecraft delivery system. Better still, the agency contends that the tech behind it could improve all our lives.

 

 

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Students Capture Video of Disintegrating Spacecraft

space Breitmeyer-Karavas-Berman-750
Student Videographers
Consider this awesome scenario: your science teacher assigns you to imagine a situation in which a fiery spacecraft plummeted to earth, and you had to record it for later analysis. You work on the idea, and then find out that this is not a hypothetical situation at all. You are really going to record a fiery spacecraft re-entering earth’s atmosphere! That’s what Brookline, Massachusetts high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz did to his three best students, James Breitmeyer, Brigitte Berman, and Yiannis Karavas.

For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store.

On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: “The mission is real, and you’re going along for the ride…”

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