GREENBELT, MD (NASA PR) — It’s corrosive, it’s hazardous, and it can cause an explosion powerful enough to thrust a satellite forward in space. Multiple NASA centers are currently conducting a remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer this dangerous fluid — satellite oxidizer — into the propellant tanks of spacecraft in space today.
NASA has released a request for information (RFI) on the development of on-orbit robotic servicing capabilities for spacecraft.The RFI seeks information from U.S. companies on three potential models:
Government partners with a competitively selected commercial company to develop the technology, with the commercial Partner assuming responsibility for the purchase/cost, and therefore ownership, of all flight hardware.
Government issues a competitive solicitation for on-orbit satellite servicing for Government-owned satellites and pays fixed amounts for the services.
Private companies develop this technology on their own with no access to government technical expertise; if requested and deemed appropriate, government IP would be made available on a non-exclusive basis subject to export restrictions.
The full RFI is reproduced after the break. Responses are due on Jan. 4. For more information, visit here.