We are continually impressed with NASA’s endeavors to improve the way we explore space. One theory on future spacecraft is to make them smaller, which leads to a lower cost for transportation.
One of NASA’s futuristic projects would involve replacing rovers all together in flat sheets that would be dropped from high in the sky. These blanket-esque devices would float down like magic carpets and gracefully touch down on the surface. These flat robots could be equipped with a host of electronics that might include cameras, sensors, and even small feet to move around.
One of the main advantages of a device like this would allow them to be spread over a large area, and also offer better chances of collecting data. If perhaps one or several of these landers weren’t to survive the voyage, it wouldn’t’ be a complete loss, as there are plenty of others still capturing data.
These two- dimensional space explorers will be about 3- feet by 3-feet and arrive at another moon or planet via another ship. There has been a grant awarded for this project, and DARPA has even helped. There isn’t a fixed date for when we’ll see these 2D explorers, but we think it probably won’t be that far away.
Learn more at Space.com