NASA has signed a contract to build the spacecraft in space using a robotic mission. New technologies allow to collect on-orbit designs that the rocket can lift only in part.
the contract value is 142 million US dollars (more than nine billion rubles at the current exchange rate). The contractor will be the company Maxar Technologies.
Assembly work in orbit will the device Restore-L, which is scheduled to launch in the mid 2020-ies. He, by the way, is created for development of the technology for refueling and moving existing spacecraft to extend their service life.“Conduct.Science” wrote about such projects.
According to the contract, in addition to the two robotic hands Restore-L on the machine will be installed the third. This five-meter manipulator SPIDER (“Spider”). Its name is an abbreviation from the expression Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot, that is, the “Agile robot for space infrastructure”.
After you run the Restore-L will demonstrate their ability to synchronize movement with the satellite, grab his arm, refuel, and move to a new orbit. Then come the turn of the SPIDER.
it is Planned that “the Spider” will bring his three-meter antenna of seven segments. This antenna would then have to contact a ground station on a wave length of about one centimeter.
in addition, the robot will collect a ten-light beam from composite materials. It will be detached from the parent satellite and again presedinte. So it will be checked the possibility to build in space larger structures from individual parts.
By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” wrote about testing on the ISS of the technology of refueling of spacecraft and docked to the station “hotel robot”. Told we and the project returned to the orbital factory.