Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Unknown author (1989-12-01)

Spur-of-the-moment planetary exploration missions are within our reach. Complex systems and complex missions usually take years of planning and force launches to become incredibly expensive. We argue here for cheap, fast missions using large numbers of mass produced simple autonomous robots that are small by today's standards, perhaps 1 to 2kg. We suggest that within a few years it will be possible, at modest cost, to invade a planet with millions of tiny robots.