Regular readers of our website know first-hand that humanity seriously intends to explore distant planets. Basically for this very reason, SpaceX is developing a spaceship for space flights, and NASA is designing a gateway station for the temporary accommodation of space travelers. Some groups of scientists have already figured out how to grow plants in space, but beyond that, it would be nice for them to learn how to build new spaceships directly in the orbit of the planets. Fortunately, Midar Technologies will do just that in mid-2020 to launch a robot at NASA's request that can assemble a satellite with communication antennas. But how is all this supposed to happen?
The NASA agency spoke in its official blog about the contractual terms with the American company Maxar Technologies. The space technology developer received $ 142 million from the agency, taking responsibility for creating technology for the assembly of satellites and other devices directly in orbit. A device with multiple robot links is reported to be used for assembly.
Spacecraft assembly in low earth orbit
We're talking about the Restore-L spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in mid-2020. He already has two robotic arms, but will add another five-meter link as part of the new project. It is currently known as SPIDER, which is an abbreviation for the term Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot, which can be translated as "agile robot for space infrastructure".
Do you know that NASA is even developing a space excavator?
If everything goes according to plan and the spacecraft successfully enters our planet's orbit, it will assemble a three-meter antenna made up of seven segments. As mentioned above, the SPIDER robot arm is used on a larger scale for this. The establishment of the communication satellite is considered successful if it can ultimately communicate with the ground station and send and receive signals.
In addition, the Restore-L spacecraft will use robotic links to try to mount a beam of around ten meters in orbit. In particular, the researchers want to find out whether the robot can separate this part from the higher-level satellite and use it again. The researchers believe that this will be the first step towards building full-fledged space stations and spaceships in space.
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By the way, did you have Deja Vu? We talked about Restore-L in 2016 when the NASA space agency commissioned the creation of space systems. At that time there was no talk of mounting a spaceship in orbit around the earth. However, the device had to perform an equally important task as repairing satellites. It was also believed that with a further improvement, the robot would be able to collect little by little space debris, which nowadays prevents scientists from exploring distant planets with ground-based telescopes.