Saturday, August 20, 2011

Size Does Matter in Space!

Size matters, but in space, it's the smaller the better.

We need more breakthrough thinking/engineering like this.

So, read all about it.

Amplify’d from

Computer Chip-Sized Spacecraft Will Explore Space In Swarms

by Peter Murray August 15th, 2011 | Comments (2)

We knew to expect a paradigm shift with the end of the space shuttle program, but this is ridiculous. Mason Peck and his group of forward-thinking engineers are taking NASA’s slogan of Faster, Better, Cheaper to the extreme. Their spacecraft will cut down travel time to Alpha Centauri from thousands of years to just a few hundred, and instead of the $1.7 billion it takes to build a space shuttle, Peck’s ships can be built for an amazing $33.

I might mention that there’s no room for astronauts. In fact, if one were to try and board these spacecraft they would crush it.

The spacecraft are called Sprites and they weigh about 10 grams each. Integrated circuits 3.8 cm on a side, they’re literally spacefaring computer chips. This past May the space shuttle Endeavour brought three Sprite prototypes to the International Space Station. Fixed to the station’s exterior, they are currently in the early days of a two year test to see how they stand up to the harsh elements of space.


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