NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland has selected Altius Space Machines, Honeybee Robotics and Orbit Fab to provide robotic grapple fixtures for a testing initiative slated to begin in the spring and summer of 2021.
Engineers at NASA's Exploration and In-Space Services projects division will evaluate the companies' hardware using robotics facilities at Goddard under space act agreements as part of efforts to identify technologies that could support in-orbit satellite servicing operations, the agency said Monday.
NASA intends to compile test results into a report for release by the end of the year and plans to share the data with other federal agencies for integration into future projects.
“Satellite servicing will be an important element of future space exploration,“ said Brian Roberts, NExIS deputy division chief. “Being able to routinely conduct repairs and upgrades in orbit has the potential to transform the way we think about near Earth and deep space travel and operations."
The Potomac Officers Club will hold the 2021 Industrial Space Defense Summit on March 23 to feature discussions on space technology, partnerships and innovation. To register for this virtual summit and view other upcoming events, visit the Potomac Officers Club Events page.