Getting a satellite into space is both costly and chronophagous. However, in recent times, various private companies like - the SpaceX and others have actually made plans to deliver satellites into space with less cost and much efficaciously than before with the help of the technological advancements.
A project put forward by Cornell University has been recently green-lighted by NASA. This spectacular project included the formation of a satellite which will be able to launch in the space all by itself into tiny and small segments. After the launch, those segments will be able to automatically assemble and also navigate automatically.
This project is also considered to be a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program’s part. This is destined to be lead by Professor Dmitry Savransky of the Cornell University along with a team of total 15 researchers.
The actual vision of fabricating such a satellite includes masoning a satellite which other than having the capability of assembling itself will also have the ability and the caliber to be implemented as a telescope. This, in turn, can assist in mapping the exoplanets and also to discover them. This satellite will be husky in size in order to assemble itself and work as a telescope to observe other space-related components.
Normal space telescope like the Hubble Space Telescope have primary mirrors of 2.4 m and 6.5 m but for the construction of such a telescope, the mirror will have to be of 30 meters. The satellite is said to be hexagonal in shape. A solar sail will be implemented in the components of the satellite such that they could reach their designated destination.
Theoretically, the satellite is said to be launched at a place in space known as the Sun-Earth L2. The gravitational forces of both the Earth and the Sun are said to be equal to the telescope's centrifugal force. The orbit surrounding the earth will be the essential landing place of the satellite.
This idea of launching a self-assembling satellite which will also enact as a telescope is considered to be very interesting and spectacular by Mason Peck who is Cornell University's professor and former NASA scientists. The whole idea of how space is explored by people will change if this is made possible. The first part of the project involved a whopping investment of $125,000 and brainstorming is at its epitome in order to be sanctioned for the second phase.