Other mission Prior to NASA and robotics

NASA and roboticsAlthough NASA spends most of its budget for space flight in human beings, there were many robotic missions. In 1962, the Mariner 2 mission was launched and became the first spacecraft to pass near another planet (Venus in this case).

The missions Ranger, Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter were essential to discover the nature of the lunar surface before trying to send astronauts. After the two Viking probes landed on the surface of Mars and have returned color photos of Earth. Perhaps more impressive were the Pioneer and Voyager missions that have visited Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Having lost the moon race, the USSR has changed its approach. On 17 July 1975, Apollo 18 spacecraft docked to the Soviet Soyuz 19, in the Apollo-Soyuz project. Although the Cold War has continued until the 1990’s it was an important moment in the history of NASA, and international collaboration that is commonplace today began with this mission.

The first space station of the USA, Skylab, was built in the late 1970.On robot called a mechanical device automatically performing tasks generally considered dangerous or difficult for humans. The development of electronics and information technology allows treatment increasingly complex.

The definition of what is recorded or not robot varies among countries. In Japan, for example, this category includes unlike the France number of machine tools programmable. Despite their high cost at the time (for lack of powerful microprocessors mass-produced), robots have become very quickly, the early 70’s, for certain tasks like painting body automobiles, air toxic fumes.

WISE Launch Delayed 24 Hours

design1Liftoff of a Delta II rocket and its NASA payload, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has been delayed 24 hours. At the soonest, launch now will be Saturday, Dec. 12, during a launch window that extends from 6:09:33 to 6:23:51 a.m. PST (9:09:33 to 9:23:51 a.m. EST). The delay allows the launch team additional time to troubleshoot a technical issue. During final systems checks of the Delta II rocket Wednesday in preparation for flight, an anomaly in the motion of a booster steering engine was detected. Continue reading

NASA plans to put spiders in space robot

vista-espacioA mission to determine if robots, like spiders, they can build complex structures in space, will be launched in January 2006 according to ew Scientist magazine. The spider bots could build large structures from a “web” released from a larger spacecraft. The engineers behind the project plan to eventually construct colossal solar panels for satellites that will transmit solar energy back to Earth. The satellites could reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays on a power receiving station on Earth or perhaps in the form of microwaves.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency launched a satellite called Furoshiki on 18 January 2006, which will conduct three experiments to test this idea. The satellite will be deployed from a rocket into a suborbital trajectory. This means that scientists will have only 10 minutes of microgravity in which to perform their tests before the craft starts its descent back to Earth and eventually burns up in the atmosphere. The first experiment will see three small satellites separated from the mother ship and stretch out to form two corners of a triangular net with it.
Onboard cameras will be used to constantly check the network as possible, which measures 40 meters on each side, and that the satellites do not become entangled in the web.

Orbital web
Later, two smaller robots, called RobySpace Junior 1 and 2 will be sent from the mothership and maneuver along the filaments of the fabric.
These spider robots could one day be used to construct large pieces of sets of solar reflectors. The prototype robots, built by engineers at the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Vienna University of Technology, will test how to maneuver throughout the network in the absence of gravity.
Each robot has a set of wheels that can grip both sides of a network line to avoid floating off into space. “Hopefully we can prove first that it is possible to move along a very thin, free-floating in a controlled manner,” says Leopold Summerer Advanced Concepts Team of ESA. While robots are being deployed, a ground station will instruct the mother satellite and satellites to synchronize their children microwave antennas and beam a signal back to a receiving station on Earth.
One small step :The mission will last only a short time but will cost much less than an experiment in orbit. “We wanted to try an experiment of longer duration in satellites,” says Nobuyuki Kaya, an engineer from the University of Kobe, Japan, who is working on the satellite’s microwave experiment.
“But we have no budget. We think this is only a first step.”
A satellite capable of beaming one billion watts of electricity generated by the sun and sent back to Earth would probably need a solar panel with an area of one square kilometer. The spider robots could also be used to build massive communication antennas or a shield to protect satellites from orbiting space junk.

Phoenix does more

Active on the Red Planet last 6 months, the robot Phoenix has ceased to function on 02 November. NASA announced the end of the mission, but watches a final burst of the probe.


Initialement scheduled to run 90 days, the Phoenix will probe resisted more than five months in harsh conditions at the North Pole of Mars. But the winter was born in fatal Lander, which sent its last signal burst on November 2.

Since October 30, the robot was in idle mode to compensate for a sharp drop of energy related to the reduction of sun exposure but a storm of dust that has clogged its solar panels.

NASA said on Monday evening, the closure of Phoenix “while announcing maintain a listening watch during the next three weeks if the tube, like the mythical bird, raise. However, engineers consider this possibility very unlikely because of deteriorating weather conditions expected on Mars.

Phoenix arrived in May 2008 on the planet Mars. This project took much of the program of Mars Polar Lander, who had to land near the south pole but failed to landing. 

Artist’s view of the robot Phoenix in the fading light of the Sun. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona)

The purpose of this mission was to study the mineralogical composition of the soil near the north pole of Mars. According to data from the Mars Odyssey, the basement of the Arctic plain indeed holds large amounts of water ice. Continue reading

Robot Lovers on the issue of Tracks Arte

Tracks Robots-Lovers #4

A few days ago, Friday, February 22, 2008 exactly, the chain ARTE television broadcast in its issue TRACKS, a report on the following topic:
“Robot Lovers:
Cars without drivers, surveillance drones, sexual partners androids…: at a time when the South Korean government is working on drafting a charter of ethics of robotics, scientific and industrial robots invent the company tomorrow. “Rediscover therefore Nao and his friends in this news story very interesting…
Background of “Robot Lovers” on the issue of Tracks channel Arte:
Cars without drivers, surveillance drones or sexual partners androids: robots invade us. Continue reading