On orbit assembly? Zero gee means no design-ahead? What?

From: Michael M. Butler (butler@comp-lib.org)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 23:05:53 MST

Adrian Tymes wrote:

> LEGOs can't self-assemble, but that's moot since they have an on-site
> assembler (the user). What do you use to do the assembly in orbit, and
> how do you control the assembler?

Eh? Mr. Tynes, I haven't stopped beating my wife, but I'm not married.

Initially, _I_ have not talked about doing assembly in orbit. _I_ have
been talking about design-ahead of useful snap-together subsystems for
micro or nanosats, using foreseeable stuff.

Accretion of these in orbit is not my short term concern in this thread.
Feel free to solve the problems you mention. I'd like that.

> Vacuum can be replicated; zero-g can't (for indefinite amounts of time,
> anyway). Zero-g makes a big difference mechanically.

I'm sure it can. Off the top of my head, I can think of some things. I
never said I have all the answers, but there are people still alive who
probably could help.

I get the impression you think I think that everything will work
perfectly with no need for space systems engineering review by people
who have actually "seen the elephant". Or that you think I think we can
cook up some system on the back of an envelope and launch a zillion in
short order.
I don't think that. And I don't expect everything to be bug free in
version 1.0. And I don't have all the answers. But there's (for
instance) a propulsion weenie on this list, and I'd trust him to not
fsck up that part too badly. :)



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