NASA Redirects Intuitive Machines’ 1st Lunar Mission to the Lunar South Pole
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NASA Redirects Intuitive Machines’ 1st Lunar Mission to the Lunar South Pole

Intuitive Machines, a leading space exploration, infrastructure, and services company, is collaborating with NASA to prioritize the return of lunar scientific data in support of the Artemis Program. As part of this joint effort, Intuitive will shift the landing site of its first mission to the lunar South Pole Region in support of NASA’s priority…

NASA, Northrop Drawing Up the Future of Drone Cargo Jets
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NASA, Northrop Drawing Up the Future of Drone Cargo Jets

Weapons maker Northrop Grumman is working with NASA to develop the architecture to allow fleets of drone cargo jets to criss-cross America’s skies.  It’s part of the Pathfinding for Airspace with Autonomous Vehicles project, which itself is part of NASA’s Air Traffic Management-eXploration, or ATM-X, effort. The goal is to model how an entire network of…

Intuitive Machines to Deliver AstroForge’s Asteroid Mining Payload to Deep Space
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Intuitive Machines to Deliver AstroForge’s Asteroid Mining Payload to Deep Space

Houston-based Intuitive Machines has announced an agreement that will deliver Brokkr-2, a deep space vehicle from AstroForge, to deep space to observe one of AstroForge’s target asteroids. The vehicle is expected to launch during Intuitive’s second lunar mission in the second half of 2023. Intuitive Machines said it intends to deploy Brokkr-2 using the company’s…

NASA to Launch New Mars Sample Receiving Project Office at Johnson
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NASA to Launch New Mars Sample Receiving Project Office at Johnson

NASA announced Thursday its new Mars Sample Receiving Project office, responsible for receiving and curating the first samples returned from the Red Planet, will be located at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The safe and rapid release of Mars samples after they return to Earth to laboratories worldwide for science investigations will be…

Italian 3-Limbed Robot to Assist Astronauts with Space Tasks
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Italian 3-Limbed Robot to Assist Astronauts with Space Tasks

As reported on Engineering 360, a three-limbed robotic platform developed by researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) promises to assist astronauts in space with infrastructure tasks. The “Multi-arm Installation Robot for Readying ORUs and Reflectors (MIRROR) project,” or MARM, consists of a central body, three limbs and a docking device and is designed…

Intuitive Machines Adds Dymon’s Yaoki Commercial Lunar Rover to its Second Mission
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Intuitive Machines Adds Dymon’s Yaoki Commercial Lunar Rover to its Second Mission

Intuitive Machines, which develops space exploration and infrastructure systems, and Japan-based robotics company, Dymon Co., have signed an agreement to fly Dymon’s Yaoki rover on Intuitive Machines’ second mission to the Moon. Yaoki is expected to be flown to the lunar south pole on board Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander in the second half of…

GITAI USA Launches Space Robotics Operations in the U.S.
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GITAI USA Launches Space Robotics Operations in the U.S.

GITAI, founded in 2016 by Sho Nakanose, is a leading provider of space robots in Japan. GITAI is developing space exploration robots to help build and maintain satellites, space stations, lunar bases, and even cities on Mars. The company’s planned expansion to the U.S. marks a notable step in its growth and potentially brings its innovative space…

NASA Ends Mars InSight Mission After 4 Years of Data Collection
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NASA Ends Mars InSight Mission After 4 Years of Data Collection

NASA announced that its InSight mission has ended after more than four years of collecting unique science on Mars. Mission controllers at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California were unable to contact the lander after two consecutive attempts, leading them to conclude the spacecraft’s solar-powered batteries have run out of energy – a…

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Executes Picture-Perfect Uncrewed Splashdown
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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Executes Picture-Perfect Uncrewed Splashdown

NASA said its Orion spacecraft successfully completed a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 9:40 PST, 12:40 EST on Sunday, Dec. 11, as the final major milestone of the Artemis I mission. Engineers performed several additional tests while Orion was in the water and before powering down the spacecraft and handing it over to the recovery team aboard…

Case Study: Faulhaber Motors Help Explore the Universe
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Case Study: Faulhaber Motors Help Explore the Universe

Over the next five years, SDSS V plans to observe 4 million stars and 300,000 black holes, analyze spectra and material composition, reconstruct cosmic development histories and verify physical models of the birth of the galaxy. Among other things, two optical large-scale telescopes in the northern and southern hemisphere will be used for the major international project. Fiber optics collect the light from the celestial bodies. The extremely precise alignment of each of the fibers is performed by 500 small robots, which are driven by Faulhaber motors.

 

NASA Launches Unmanned Artemis Rocket for Moon Mission
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NASA Launches Unmanned Artemis Rocket for Moon Mission

Following a successful launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, the agency’s Orion spacecraft is on its way to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. Carrying an uncrewed Orion, SLS lifted off for its flight test debut at 1:47 a.m. EST Wednesday from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

PickNik Robotics Earns Contracts for Space Robotics Applications
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PickNik Robotics Earns Contracts for Space Robotics Applications

PickNik Robotics, which develops robotics software and engineering services, has announced it was awarded three contracts to develop robotics applications. The company won a SpaceWERX contract to work on robotics for the U.S. Space Force, as well as a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract for continued work on supervised autonomy for space robotics. In addition, the company was awarded a grant from the Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) for space robotics development.

 

Outpost Completes Flight Test of Autonomous Space Paraglider
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Outpost Completes Flight Test of Autonomous Space Paraglider

During a technical session at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Outpost presented a paper on the findings of its two successful flight tests of its autonomous paraglider re-entry system, which enables the return of payloads to Earth from orbit. The tests, conducted in April 2022, mark a milestone for the company in creating a technology aimed to disrupt the future of satellite operations.

 

GITAI Completes Proof-of-Concept for Inchworm-Type Robot for Space Tasks
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GITAI Completes Proof-of-Concept for Inchworm-Type Robot for Space Tasks

GITAI USA, which develops space robotics, has announced the GITAI IN1 (Inchworm One), a robotic arm that is equipped with “grapple end-effectors” on both ends of the arm. The unique feature enables the robot to connect to various end-effectors to perform multiple tasks, as well as provide mobility to enable it to move in any direction. The robot can also connect and disconnect itself among different vehicles, such as rovers, landers and satellites.

 

NASA Finishes Review for Mars Sample Return Program
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NASA Finishes Review for Mars Sample Return Program

NASA has announced it finished the system requirements for its Mars Sample Return Program, which is nearing completion of the conceptual design phase. The program team evaluated and refined the architecture to return scientifically selected samples, which are currently in the collection process by NASA’s Perseverance rover in Mars’ Jezero Crater.