Due to the high costs and risks of space travel, NASA engineers tend to keep track of what works. This means using tested and tested materials such as titanium and aluminum. But traditional patterns and materials are often heavy – and in a field where every gram is important, it means putting down more sensors and instruments. To drive land patterns in new directions, Autodesk turns into its machine learning technology to iterate faster than it could otherwise.
Autodesk calls this new process "generative design" or design that uses machine intelligence and cloud computing that creates a wide range of solutions based on engineer's limitations. Autodesk has used this system, available on its Fusion 360 software, in Formula1 racing. Generic design, according to Autodesk, allows engineers to turn on design solutions in as little as two to four weeks, much faster than standard two to four months. However, Autodesk hopes that its design technology will help JPL put a lander on the moon Jupiter or Saturn, which paves the way for human settlements. (If it happens in our lifetime, another question is entirely.)
That's not to say that this would be the first time people have explored Jupiter or Saturn. In October 1997, NASA, together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), launched the Cassini-Huygens probe to study Saturn. It took the probe for six years and 261 days to reach the ringed planet, but the pictures sent back were remarkable. It was September 15, 2017 that NASA had last contact with Cassini. And at the moment, the Juno probe is running with Jupiter and has given us insight into what's happening in the gas giant. To reach the Moon Saturn and Jupiter, about 365 million and 746 million miles away depending on the orbiting region, it will always prove challenging, but any progress that NASA can do would be welcome if it means the possibility of human settlement into our solar system .