Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Pushing past the space telescope limitation

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest we have launched so far.

And it may be close to the limit. Short of building a space station and making the next one in orbit...

...but a guy named Dimitry Savanky has a cheaper idea.

Have the telescope build itself.

The word "Von Neumann Machine" creeps into the consciousness at the mention of self-assembling space ship, but the telescope would not, of course, be out there trying to build more telescopes.

The idea is that you launch in multiple small payloads which are then programmed to come together at the L2 point and make themselves into a telescope.

And it's the least weird of the NAIC phase 1 finalists.

The others go seriously...uh...

Yeah.

One of them is an ornithopter to use on Mars.

And another is a steam powered submarine.

Who opened a portal to the steampunk universe while I wasn't looking?