So NASA has a plan to place robotic bees into outer space. Although this ma sound odd, there has been a history of different specimens other than humans who have gone beyond our Earth. The first supposedly being fruit flies in 1947 who reached an altitude of 68 miles and were recovered alive by parachute. A mouse was launched in 1950 and reached an altitude of 85 miles but died when the rocket disintegrated. Several monkeys have been launched as well Albert’s I – IV all having died due to rocket failure. And a myriad of other specimens such as stray dogs, rabbits, cats, turtles, jellyfish and even spiders have been sent to outer space. Having said this, bees are now the least oddest things that people have decidedly sent into space, but the fact that they are robotic makes it interesting.
NASA is supposedly working to design a robotic bee that can fly to Mars. Officially announced on March 30th of this year, the bee is in its early stages of development, but the idea stems from the need to replace rovers. Rovers have for years been the go to device for NASA to gain insight into life outside of our planet, but they have proven to be too slow, bulky and very expensive to build and manage. The bees in development will be quite the opposite, small, fast-moving and with a swarm can cover relatively more ground than a few rovers at a lower cost. One may wonder how such a small device will be able to sustain its robotic life; the answer is due to Mars’ low gravity which carries one-third of Earth’s gravitational pull which gives “Marsbees” the advantage over the thin atmospheric pressure. Marsbees will actually be able to do more than a rover by mapping Martian terrains and collecting viable samples of the air which intentions on discovering life. Although still in the early stages their flapping-wing designs allows teams to integrate low-power, highly efficient technology which is integral for exploring the Red Planet. Hopefully the plan is successful and these bots can explore not just Mars, but other planets in the future.