For future space missions, NASA plans to shift its strategy of sending a single spacecraft per mission. Instead, they plan to send a swarm of spacecraft, something like what we see in the Star Wars movies.
A space mission is returning to Earth from the edge of the solar system. The space mission includes a swarm of spacecraft. The individual space crafts in the swarm are designed to automatically perform their assigned roles.
While the spacecraft swarm reaches Saturn, a solar flare on the sun shoots out a solar storm in the direction of the swarm.
One of the spacecrafts designed to detect such threats, detects and monitors the approaching solar storm. It then autonomously decides to shield other space crafts using its solar sail. In the process, its solar sail is completely destroyed, rendering the spacecraft useless. The surrounding space crafts then turn cannibalistic automatically salvage any usable parts of the sacrificing space craft. A neighboring space craft drains out battery power from the sacrificing space craft. Another space craft pumps put rocket fuel. Yet another one, detaches solar panels from the sacrificing space craft. Alternatively, the sacrificing space craft may donate its power source or any other usable components prior to sacrificing itself.
Clearly, NASA is planning to enter a new era of space exploration. We at PatentYogi, wish NASA best of luck.
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Patent Title: Power provision based on self-sacrificing craft
Inventors: Hinchey; Michael G. (Bowie, MD), Vassev; Emil I. (Montreal, CA), Hinchey; Bridget (Limerick, IE), Sterrit; Roy (Newtownabbey, GB)
Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Washington, DC)
Family ID: 48427900
Appl. No.: 13/606,174
Filed: September 7, 2012
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