We already know how to explore planets with relatively low gravity, like Mars. The Curiosity Rover is engineered to hang onto the planet's surface, despite it having just 38 percent of the gravity we enjoy on Earth. What happens if you want to check out a small moon or an asteroid with a fraction of that gravity? You design a robotic hedgehog, of course.
Stanford University researchers and NASA are working together on spiky space balls that could dance across the surfaces of moons and asteroids whose low gravity and rough surfaces would bog down a regular rover. … Read more