Jun 29, 2024
Visit site
Here is my concept animation for the first sport in space,,, FPV racing drones in space!

These drones would be flown by pilots on the ground, and would be in space after being launched by a sounding rocket for 3-6 minutes of micro-gravity. These drones would fly around a course that was also launched on the rocket, and that inflates once the rocket is in space.

Comparable cold-gas propulsion systems to those presented in my animation such as those used on NASA SPHERES or or the (https://www.mdpi.com/2226-4310/6/8/91) Adelis-Sampson nano-satellites have around 20 seconds of propulsion. This means that the average drone race time of 2-4 minutes for quadcopters would probably be what to expect from a space drone, and I would argue would be available with a sounding rocket offering 3-6 minutes of micro-gravity.

Although the players do not go to space, this makes the sport accessible to anyone who is capable of piloting the vehicle in a simulator. This also means that anyone who has access to a computer able to run a simulator can train for the sport. Sounding Rockets can be launched from any geographical area meaning that it would be possible to bring the sport to anyone who can travel within their local region. Although most people are more excited about the idea of sending athletes to space to compete in sports, there are no sports that have been well developed enough to justify the cost of sending humans to orbit. There is no safe vehicle for the task either. Each competitor would need to be a fully trained astronaut capable of handling any emergencies that might occur during the trip. Almost no one could ever expect to play the sport, it would be a novelty at best, and a humiliating waste of effort if the sport selected turns out to be lame. With small robotics on a sounding rocket, it is very safe. The cost is low. It can be done thousands and thousands of times for each single time that a team of human competitors could go to orbit. The simulator offers exactly the same training and coordination, meaning players can become experts right at home before competing. There is no orbit to be concerned with, no re-entry, and most of all, the sport of small vehicle racing is highly advanced with significant parallels between quadcopters and cold-gas thruster vehicles. What makes for a good race with quadcopters also makes for a good race with cold-gas vehicles. Not only could the players achieve mastery before competing, but the sport itself is already highly advanced and mainstream. No audience members have to learn anything, they already understand racing.

I have been working on a concept display animation. Here is the current progress:

View: https://youtu.be/P53eFwbmguA

I would love to know what people think of the idea! I believe in it very strongly, and because just as with normal space exploration, it leads with tiny robots because of their smaller mass and relative safety, it is certain to be the first actually competed sport in space! I would not argue that people will scoff and send humans first, but I will argue that in the future, when people think of sports in space, this is the one they will think of as the most important, the most accessible, and by far the most played.

Latest posts