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NASA uses AI to create space parts

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Published on
February 27, 2023

Software that can design components for spacecraft and other equipment for space missions has been created by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US space agency. Compared to conventional human-designed parts, these ones are lighter and stronger.

A person first defines the characteristics for such a part, such as the surfaces where it will connect to the spacecraft or an instrument, the positions of the screws and connectors for the electronics, and other hardware. Corridors that must be kept clear for assembly or optical or laser sensor lines of sight are also defined.

Once the limited zones have been established, the software gets to work by connecting the points, altering them, and testing the connections. Iterations are used to develop the component, much like in evolution. That takes only a few hours.

As a result, intricate structures are created that are reminiscent of natural forms and that a person would not have likely created. "You look a bit alien and weird , " said Ryan McClelland . "But when you see them in their position, it makes sense." Engineer McClelland worked on this type of AI-assisted design at NASA.

Read more about this here.

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