Washington: NASA has successfully conducted a remote controlled test of new technologies that will empower future space robots to transfer hazardous oxidizer into the tanks of satellites in space.
The US space agency is incorporating results from this test and the Robotic Refuelling Mission on the International Space Station to prepare for an upcoming ground-based test of a full-sized robotic servicer system that will perform tasks on a mock satellite client.
Collectively, these efforts are part of an ongoing and aggressive technology development campaign to equip robots and humans with the tools and capabilities needed for spacecraft maintenance and repair, the assembly of large space telescopes, and extended human exploration.
Frank Cepollina, veteran leader of the five servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope and the associate director of SSCO, said that this is the first time that anyone has tested this type of technology, and we`ve proven that it works, asserting that it`s ready for the next step to flight.
He said that RROxiTT gives NASA, and the satellite community at large, confidence that advanced satellite refuelling and maintenance technologies aren`t a wild dream of the future, explaining that they`re being built and tested today - and the capabilities that they can unlock can become a reality.