• http://www.popularmechanics.com, By Will Dietrich
The team at Go Lab came up with the idea for an asteroid mapper as an entry in the NASA Space Apps Challenge. The MapperBot is made up of a cubesat that houses a camera, 12 mini processors, and a micro ion thruster system. The cubesat will launch from a larger satellite and fly by an asteroid, snapping detailed 3D pictures of the asteroid's surface with a Lytro camera. The thruster system charges and vaporizes the metal of the frame of the cubesat, shooting off ions and allowing for surprising maneuverability without the need to carry a bulkier thruster system (the cubesats are meant to be cheap and disposable). The info gathered from these asteroid flybys will be sent back to NASA, where it'll be turned into a 3D map. From there, scientists will determine whether that particular asteroid is suitable for capture. The Go Labbers at Maker Faire attached their camera to a drone for audience demos.
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