midtskogen wrote:Source of the post that technology wasn't made to endure decades in space. This sounds like hand waving to me.
This is also adressed in part:
The circuits coul survive more than 30 years, and other components similarly. The only erosion that has in principle to be taken into account is that of dust and subatomic particles. Thin coatings are been studied for this. Remember that there are currently mission that have been functioning for longer timespans (maybe not so light and maybe not so complicated for sure). I'm much more sceptical, and by far, about SpaceX ambitions than this.
Also there's a very important thing that we are not considering. Many things can go wrong in a space mission. We usually deal with spacecrafts that have to attain huge standards in terms of risk and therefore we don't launch spacecrafts that we think are going to have a 1 in 5 chances of failure (since is a lot of money). But here we have to change our minds a lot. The project aims to make each spacecraft as cheap as an iPhone. They could launch swarms of 1000 nanosails. Even having a probability of 0.1% of success for each spacecraft you can have certain confidence that the mission still is going to be accomplished since probably one is going to reach the destination and transmit back.