In space there would be more robots and fewer astronauts in the coming time. This is the idea given by three European aerospace engineers who believe that the crewed satellites sent to repair missions are much expensive and wasteful as we saw recently astronauts flown by NASA to repair the Hubble Space Telescope which cost much high.
These three scientists are Alex Ellery, Joerg Kreidsel and Bernd Sommer. The statement was given in the journal Acta Astronautica in which they said that though such types of missions are spectacular but quite unsustainable.
Space agencies and satellite operators should seriously move faster making effort to make robotic mechanics. These mechanics would be able to provide robotic mechanics complying with different Earth orbits which would help in fixing errant satellites when required.
The practical demonstration of in-orbit repair by a robot has already been performed last summer. The work was carried out by pentagon. They coaxed a robot – Astro into dockling having no external control with NextSat; NextSat is a prototype serviceable craft. They replaced a dead battery through it.
However the researchers are not satisfied by the speed of scientific research progress, they feel it much slow despite of its importance and need.
Satellites are not much reliable, as you see problem with navigation and thruster failures often. It is a big loss and cost very much when thruster fails; on the other side insurance is also expensive.
These factors provide the industry a big reason to go in search of cheaper and safer alternative ways to human mechanics. The three engineers said;
“Scepticism of robotic in-orbit servicing is wasting the space sector vast amounts of money,”
They further said;
“There are few industries which would willingly spend $100 million on highly designed, long-lived hardware without the provision for repair and upgrade.”