Autonomous repair robots launched into space

Sponsored Links

Thomas Ricker
March 9, 2007 12:06 PM
Autonomous repair robots launched into space
Few things set our geek pulses a-purrin' like DARPA sponsored projects, robots, and outer space. So combining the three into last night's launch of the Orbital Express had us hopping and clapping like little girls in pink party dresses. Built for DARPA, the pair of satellites were launched to demonstrate the feasibility of autonomously servicing satellites in space. Yeah, autonomous as in no human interaction, unless there's a problem with the sensors, passive detection systems, and computer software requiring mission control to intervene. Both the robotic-arm equipped ASTRO servicing satellite and smaller NextSat target will be orbiting our blue planet for the next three months testing autonomous rendezvous, refueling, and component replacement. A successful mission would pave the way for a fleet of both commercial and military vehicles for use in repairing or providing an orbital boost to general-use spacecraft while allowing recon satellites to maintain position longer. We're pretty sure that last bit has some generals jumping and clapping as well.

Read -- Satellite launch
Read -- Orbital Express
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget