Self-Driving Asteroids

NASA is providing an exploratory grant to a company called Made in Space for the purpose of turning asteroids into autonomous vehicles.

“The objective of this study is for Made In Space (MIS) to establish the concept feasibility of using the age-old technique of analog computers and mechanisms to convert entire asteroids into enormous autonomous mechanical spacecraft. Project RAMA, Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata, has been designed to leverage the advancing trends of additive manufacturing (AM) and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable asteroid rendezvous missions in which a set of technically simple robotic processes convert asteroid elements into very basic versions of spacecraft subsystems (GNC, Propulsion, Avionics).”

And you thought flying cars were the next big thing.

More information here.