There are no spiders in space… yet. NASA is working on a highly versatile yet slightly frightening new creation dubbed the Spidernaut. The idea behind this new unmanned space vehicle is to have a means to provide maintenance and repairs to telescopes, satellites and other items orbiting the Earth.
The Spidernaut has some pretty unique features which allow it to work on delicate structures. The eight legs help better distribute the weight and allow the Spidernaut to side- step around delicate instruments. What is really unique about the Spidernaut is that it can create a system that is similar to spider webs. If traveling between two structures the Spidernaut can use space tethers to travel between them.
The Spidernaut isn’t completed yet, but a smaller scale version is being tested in Houston. In a recent test the Spidernaut traveled across a truss using its legs which are easily moved via its linear actuators for movement. Furthermore, the Spidernaut has modular feet which allows for different attachments depending on the mission.
Stay tuned for more information about the Spidernaut. You can visit the official NASA site for more details and photos.