Nasa is building robots to explore other planets, and drone technology for Earth. now they are working on robot drones which can fly in space.
NASA: A drones that can fly in outer space
NASA is working on ways to explore other planets and asteroids using robots that can fly to places its rovers can’t reach. Their design looks a lot like a traditional quadcopter. But in space, there tends to be a distinct lack of air, meaning NASA’s engineers can’t use the propulsion systems found in most commercial drones, as tiny propellers wouldn’t be enough to push the craft through the thin atmosphere. So the team has created a system that putters around using cold gas jets.
The team is testing out whether it can have the drone fly automatically and also trying to figure out for earthbound drones or have it operated by someone back on Earth. The drone would act much like NASA’s rovers collecting samples using a range of tools that it could change, depending on what scientists are interested in on a given day.
The team’s prototype drone is about 5 ft wide more than double the width of the average commercial drone but was built with “off-the-shelf components” and parts the team 3D printed itself.