Spiders in space could help humans reach red planet

Spiders in space could help humans reach red planet

David Bowie may have predicted spiders on Mars but there is a possibility that spiders in space might help to get to the red planet.

Tethers Unlimited (TUI), a US private aerospace company, is putting efforts to discover a system of robo spiders that can be helpful in building solar panels, trusses and other parts of spacecraft in orbit. Tethers Unlimited makes research and development of new products and technologies for space, sea and air.

According to the company, it might significantly decrease the price of building spacecraft by enabling the final construction to happen in orbit. Tethers Unlimited is developing the futuristic new system called SpiderFab.

Experts said that the system makes use of arachnid-like robots in order to build large objects in orbit around the Earth or further into the Solar System. The firm said that the process will allow space systems to be launched in a compact and durable 'embryonic' state.

According to the experts, once on orbit, these systems are going to use techniques evolved from emerging additive manufacturing and automated assembly technologies in order to fabricate and integrate components like shrouds, antennas, booms, concentrators, and optics.

"Our really long-term objective for all of this work is to eventually enable the use of in-situ resources to construct the infrastructure in space needed to support humanity's expansion throughout the solar system", said Dr. Robert Hoyt last month at the time of a presentation with NASA's Future In-Space Operations (FISO) working group.

Hoyt also said that it is very costly and long process and the size of systems is somewhat limited by the size of the deployable. The company is expecting to launch its first working construction robot into space within the next two years.