In space, they can build a telescope with a mirror diameter of 100 meters
(ORDO NEWS) — Zachary Cordero of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has proposed building a telescope with a 100-meter primary mirror that can be autonomously constructed in space.
Why wasn’t this done before? The fact is that usually large telescopes are made folding so that they fit in a rocket. This greatly overloads and complicates their design. In addition, the shape of the mirror is imperfect.
It was also proposed to print telescopes directly in space, but the main obstacle on this path was that it was impossible to use 3D printing in all supporting structures of this size.
Instead, Cordero proposes using numerically controlled (CNC) wire bending machines.
In fact, the author of the project proposes to weave the wire into knots at certain points according to a pattern, which the computer will perform without human intervention.
This design will be very flexible, and with the help of electric motors it can be given the desired shape. Thus, the perfect fit of the mirrors will be achieved at the submillimeter level even when they are very large.
The project proposed by Cordero was accepted by NASA‘s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program of future promising projects for the implementation of the first stage of development.
Cordero and his assistants have already built a model of such an instrument with a mirror diameter of one meter.
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