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NASA and Autodesk are exploring new ways to design interplanetary lands



NASA's engineers tend to stick with what works, given the high cost and risk of space travel. This means using proven materials such as titanium and aluminum. However, traditional designs and materials are often heavy – and in an area where every gram is important, weight reduction means more sensors and instruments. To redirect landing designs, Autodesk uses its machine learning technology to iterate faster than would otherwise be possible.

Autodesk calls this new process "generative design" or a design that uses machine intelligence and cloud computing to create a wide range of solutions based on the limitations set by engineers. Autodesk has used this Formula One racing system, available in Fusion 360 software. According to Autodesk, the generative design allows designers to reverse design solutions within two to four weeks, much faster than the usual two to four months. In any case, Autodesk hopes its design technology will help JPL provide the moons of Jupiter or Saturn with a lander that will pave the way for human settlements. (Whether this happens in our lives is a very different question.)

That does not mean that this is the first time people have explored Jupiter or Saturn. In October 1

997, NASA, together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), introduced the Cassini-Huygens probe to study Saturn. The probe took six years and 261 days to reach the Ring Planet, but the photos she sent back were remarkable. On 15 September 2017, NASA had last contact with Cassini. Currently, the Juno probe is orbiting Jupiter and has given us insight into what's going on in the gas giant. The moons of Saturn and Jupiter, which are approximately 365 million kilometers and 746 million kilometers respectively depending on orbit, will always be a challenge, but any progress that NASA can make would be welcome if it has the potential to locate Humans is our solar system.


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