Astrobotic Wins $1.5M to Mature Satellite Servicing and Hazard Detection Systems for Space

Example LiDAR Reconstruction of Spacecraft (Simulated); this mapping will be generated by Astrobotic’s algorithms to enable satellite servicing and hazard detection. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

PITTSBURGH (Astrobotic PR) — Astrobotic has won two NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contracts worth $1.5 million to further advance novel Laser Imaging, Detection, and Ranging (LiDAR) software solutions. When space qualified, these software packages will support in-space satellite servicing as well as safe landing on celestial objects such as the Moon or asteroids through accurate hazard detection.

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Orbit Fab and Neutron Star Systems Announce Partnership for Sustainable Propulsion and Satellite Refueling

Tanker 1 satellite. (Credit: Orbit Fab)

DENVER and COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 7, 2022 (Orbit Fab/Neutron Star Systems PR) — Orbit Fab and Neutron Star Systems (NSS) established a cooperative agreement for co-development of satellite refueling solutions with green propellants. The agreement lays the foundation to increase the range of refuellable propellants by combining NSS propellant-agnostic electric propulsion technology with Orbit Fab’s refueling interfaces and tankers. 

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NASA’s Robotic OSAM-1 Mission Completes its Critical Design Review

Lights-out grapple testing of OSAM-1’s Robotic Servicing Arm (left) in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The partial model of a client satellite (right) sits on top of a hexapod robot, which helps to simulate zero-gravity movement. (Credits: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA’s On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1), a mission that will be the first to robotically refuel a satellite not designed to be serviced, and will also demonstrate assembly and manufacturing technologies and capabilities, has passed its mission critical design review (CDR). This is an important milestone that paves the way for the construction of the spacecraft, payloads, and ground system.

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NASA Offers Up to $200 Million to Help Push New Technologies to Market

OSAM-1 mission (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Companies with technologies that may advance exploration but need a little extra push to finalize development have two new opportunities to partner with NASA to make it over the finish line.

Through Tipping Point, NASA seeks to support space technologies that can foster the growth of commercial space capabilities and benefit future agency missions. NASA is also offering businesses a chance to work with agency experts or use facilities to complete their work through a separate Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity.

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Simulating Space on Earth: NASA Receives Hardware for Testing Satellite Servicing Tech

Engineers test grapple capabilities for satellite servicing using a gravity offset table at NASA’s Goddard Flight Facility. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — In August 2021, new testing equipment arrived at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in the form of a gravity offset table. NASA engineers will use the table to test robotic satellite servicing technologies that will one day operate in space.  

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NASA Partners with Altius, Honeybee & OrbitFab to Test Satellite Fixtures for Robotic Grappling

A robotic servicing arm (left) practices autonomous capture of a satellite mockup (right) in Goddard’s Robotic Operations Center. Because there is no grapple fixture, the arm will use the marman ring, which originally attached the satellite to the rocket that launched it to space. (Credits: NASA/Rebecca Roth)

by Tracy Vogel
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has chosen three companies to participate in a new partnership to test and evaluate satellite servicing technologies.

Altius Space Machines of Broomfield, Colorado, Honeybee Robotics of Longmont, Colorado, and Orbit Fab of San Francisco will provide cooperative robotic grapple fixtures and data to be studied by NASA’s Exploration and In-Space Services projects division (NExIS, formerly known as the Satellite Servicing Projects Division) engineers. The engineers will utilize robotics facilities at Goddard via Space Act Agreements to collect data on the performance of the companies’ fixtures.

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NASA Perseveres Through Pandemic to Complete Successful 2020

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2020, NASA made significant progress on America’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy, met mission objectives for the Artemis program, achieved significant scientific advancements to benefit humanity, and returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, all while agency teams acted quickly to assist the national COVID-19 response.

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Maxar Awards MDA Contracts for On-orbit Servicing Technologies

OSAM-1 mission (Credit: NASA)

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA today announced that it has signed multiple contracts with Maxar Technologies to provide advanced space robotics technologies for the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER), a technology demonstration on NASA’s On‑orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) mission.

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