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 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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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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Over Budget Restore-L Mission 3.5 Years From Launch

Artist’s conception of Restore-L servicing satellite with Landsat 7. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA’s $1 billion Restore-L mission to refuel the aging Landsat 7 satellite is running about $300 million over budget and almost three years behind schedule, according to a new assessment by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The project’s woes have included a shortage of both funding and skilled personnel as well as the addition of a new instrument with immature technology to the satellite servicing spacecraft.

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NASA Funds Demonstration of Assembly and Manufacturing in Space

SPIDER on the Restore-L satellite. (Credit: Maxar Technologies)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded a $142 million contract to Maxar Technologies of Westminster, Colorado, to robotically assemble a communications antenna and manufacture a spacecraft beam in orbit. The technology demonstration is slated to take place on NASA’s Restore-L spacecraft, designed to service and refuel a satellite in low-Earth orbit.

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NASA Selects Maxar to Build, Fly Innovative Robotic Spacecraft Assembly Technology on Restore-L

SPIDER on the Restore-L satellite. (Credit: Maxar Technologies)

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, today announced that it was selected by NASA to perform an in-space assembly demonstration using a lightweight robotic arm. The arm, called SPIDER (Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot), will be integrated with the spacecraft bus Maxar is building for NASA’s Restore-L project, which plans to refuel a satellite in low Earth orbit.

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