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Airbrush

Nanotech for Space Exploration

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I've never heard of this before, but as we are able to make things smaller, the cost for robotic space exploration should decline. The day may come when all the technology of the Apollo mission can be condensed into a probe of only a few pounds. If that probe has super sensitive cameras, with telescopic and microscopic capabilities, and other sophisticated sensing devices, they should be able to do most of the things a manned mission can do, at far lower cost. The mission controllers on Earth will feel like they are actually there on Mars, or Europa, Titan, or Pluto.

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Perhaps, but for lenses and such there is a size factor, based on the laws of physics rather than on technological issues. More interesting would be self-replicating nanobots.

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Good catch Mr. Skeptic. The idea of sending a space probe to another world would not need telescopic lenses, since the probe is already THERE up close, duhhhhh. Forget about sending massive telescopes to other worlds. All you need is hi def cameras and high sensitivity sensors to send the video and data back to Earth. And such a robotic probe could be very miniature. A tiny space probe does not take much rocket propulsion to reach high speeds in space.

 

The self-replicating nanobots would be great but that is a few centuries away. "Super-tiny" space probes is a very close possibility.

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One problem with nanobot planetary explorers is that they may contaminate a planet; especially self-replicating ones. Eventually, they may malfunction and turn "Cancerous" and start self-replicating using any and all materials available.

 

I think "Mirco-Probes" will be the way forward. If, from your own backyard, you could launch a small probe to Mars or any planet you wished, then that will be the peak of space probe exploration.

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Here's one of my posts on the matter:

 

My preferred method would be some sort of enormous railgun type of contraption which is able to launch a small projectile containing nanorobots/utility fog.

 

This package could be relatively teensy... thousandths of a gram or less! You could launch it with a giant railgun type of apparatus... maybe thousands of miles long.

 

With such a combination, I don't forsee it being too difficult to get such a package relatively close to light speed, with a rather loose definition of "relatively" (and no pun intended). Half light speed? 75% light speed? It's certainly better than what we could do with a spaceship containing a large and fragile human.

 

Once this little package gets to a suitable destination planet, it can land, and the nanorobots/utility fog can start self-replicating, and building whatever we want on the destination planet, including a "teleporter" machine that can receive a message via radio and build human beings.

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