Hello Debris | Design by Nature

The Challenge | Design by Nature

Design an autonomous free-flyer to inspect a spacecraft for damage from Micro-Meteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD).

AstroHornet: autonomous free flyer assisted by intelligent damage localization system

AstroHornet is a design project using state of the art technologies for hypervelocity impacts analysis on spacecrafts

Hello Debris

For many enthusiasts and subject experts MMOD’s are a real thing. To the general public this problem feels very far away.

Not many knows that in a few years we could have so much garbage orbiting around out planet that we will not have any available launch windows if the problem is left to itself.

In addiction to that, space debris are a subtle enemy for “space workers”.

As the space industry is growing day by day, to the general population MMODs impact detection will become more a concerning problem (everyone understands the hazards of being hit by some object travelling at thousands of miles per hour).

The goal, here, was to take inspiration from nature, since nature itself sometimes “hides” the solutions to some of the hardest problems human beings need to face: in our case our peripheral nervous system does an amazing job at locating and alerting us of potentially dangerous situations.

We exploited this aspect to design the “AstroHornet”.

Based on originals NASA design, the AstroBee, we integrated it with groundbreaking technologies to autonomously detect space debris location and magnitude of impacts.


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.