— Need extra gas or a tune-up for your satellite? For years, such services were outside the realm of possibility for most spacecraft. But now, one mission will break that paradigm.
Meet Restore-L, a robotic spacecraft equipped with the tools, technologies and techniques needed to extend satellites' lifespans - even if they were not designed to be serviced on orbit.
New Tool Provides Successful Visual Inspection of Space Station Robot Arm
— Gas station attendant, electronics installer, home inspector: is there any fix-it job that NASA's Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM)
can't tackle during its four-year career? As NASA takes a break in RRM operations, it's looking back on past achievements and celebrating one of its latest accomplishments - the successful inspection of Canadarm2, the International Space Station's (ISS)
robotic arm. In time, this visual inspection capability may help future servicing ventures at other orbits inspect for damage and failures on their spacecraft. [Read more]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski Officially Opens New Robotic Operations Center
— Sen. Barbara Mikulski participated in a ribbon cutting, to officially open the new Robotic Operations Center (ROC)
. Within the ROC's black walls, NASA is testing technologies and operational procedures for science and exploration missions, including the Restore-L satellite servicing mission and also the Asteroid Redirect Mission.
During her tour of the ROC, Sen. Mikulski saw first-hand an early version of the Servicing Arm
, a 2-meter-class robot with the dexterity to grasp and refuel a satellite on orbit. She also heard a description of Raven
, a payload launching to the ISS that will demonstrate real-time, relative space navigation technology. The robotic technologies that NASA is developing within the ROC also support the Journey to Mars. Gallery
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Launched December 6: International Space Station Robotic External Leak Locator12.02.2015
— Nobody wants a spacecraft to spring a leak — but if it happens, the best thing you can do is locate and fix it, fast. NASA's International Space Station (ISS) Robotic External Leak Locator (IRELL) is a new tool that could help mission operators detect the location of an external leak and rapidly confirm a successful repair. The tool launched to the space station on the Orbital ATK Commercial Resupply Services Flight on for December 7, 2015. The IRELL was developed and built by the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center under the management of the Engineering Directorate at Johnson Space Center. [Learn more]