With the recent news of the failing air conditioner aboard the ISS, I have been considering how robots could and should make space a safer place. Although no NASA personnel have ever been killed by a space walk, the dangers of a spacewalk fill a long list and are all too real. So it would only make sense to me that a robot [or a swarm of robots] could be used to fix ISS should it ever need fixing. Of course this brings to mind the question “what if the robot breaks down?” this would of course be an issue, however, I’m wondering if it would be possible to create fixer-bots that were able to fit inside of ISS. That way, if a robot did break, the robot could be repaired aboard ISS, and then launched and could then continue to fix whatever the issue was. All of this is just a thought, but I feel it’ll only be a matter of time before this concept is reality.
This article discusses briefly the movie “Gravity”, which proposes the idea of losing an astronaut during a spacewalk. in the article, astronaut Tim Peake confirms the dangers of going out on a spacewalk – only further enhancing the idea of avoiding these situations.
Of course, one of the biggest annoyances about the current AC failure is that the spacewalk will have to take place on Christmas day! If we can assume that robots indeed do not celebrate Christmas, I feel that this may solidify the need for such a tool.