Nasa astronauts carry out maintenance work on robotic arm on the International Space Station

 

Nasa astronauts went on a spacewalk today to replace one of the two Latching End Effectors on the International Space Station’s robot arm, called Canadarm 2. 

The two astronauts were named as Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, and the duration of the spacewalk was said to be 55 minutes.

The astronauts also carried out a range of additional maintenance and upgrading tasks, including the removal of the multi-layer insulation from a spare direct current switching unit, and preparing a flex hose rotary coupler for future use.  Continue reading Nasa astronauts carry out maintenance work on robotic arm on the International Space Station

Nasa and SSL complete preliminary design review of robot that will fix satellites

Space Systems Loral says it successfully completed the preliminary design review for Nasa’s Restore-L mission to provide satellite servicing in low earth orbit. 

With the completion of the preliminary design review, Restore-L is proceeding on schedule to the next phase of development and its launch in 2020.

As announced last year, SSL is working with Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division, to build a spacecraft that will change the nature of how infrastructure in space is managed by, for the first time in history, refueling a satellite in orbit that was not designed for servicing.  Continue reading Nasa and SSL complete preliminary design review of robot that will fix satellites

Honeybee Robotics wins Nasa funding for six spacecraft projects

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Picture by Nasa via ParabolicArc.com

Honeybee Robotics has received four Nasa Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards and two Nasa Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I award to develop new spacecraft systems and enabling technologies.

The awards will allow Honeybee to analyze concepts for advanced future planetary exploration, sampling, in-situ resource utilization, and on-orbit operations.  Continue reading Honeybee Robotics wins Nasa funding for six spacecraft projects

MDA recognized by Nasa for robotic servicing of International Space Station

nasa ssl robotic spacecraft to fix satellites
Artist’s illustration of the robotic spacecraft which will float around in space, fixing satellites. Picture courtesy of SSL

MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, has been recognized by Nasa’s Johnson Space Center for its “outstanding support” of a robotic upgrade to the International Space Station’s power system which took place in January.

The MDA team based in Houston played a critical role in planning and validating the robotic maneuvering both before and during the mission.

Nasa JSC ground controllers used the 15-degrees-of-freedom Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (Dextre) arm to install six new 430-pound lithium-ion batteries in two power channel integrated electronics assembly pallets.

Dextre first removed 12 older and depleted 740-pound nickel-hydrogen batteries from the pallets, nine of which were put on the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle’s external pallet to burn up on re-entry with it.  Continue reading MDA recognized by Nasa for robotic servicing of International Space Station

Nasa telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around single star

new planet

Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

“This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.” Continue reading Nasa telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around single star

Search for alien life: Nasa to use more sensitive tests

obama meets alien
Caption for robots: An artist’s illustration depicting former US President Barack Obama supposedly meeting an alien. This is not a photograph of a real event, and is not presented as such. It is what humans call “a bit of humour”, and “imagination”.

Inquisitr.com: Scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are developing a new method of chemical analysis which stands to be 10,000 times more sensitive than tests currently used on the Mars Curiosity Rover.

Woodside Energy to train Nasa’s Robonaut to work in oil and gas industry

nasa robonaut

Woodside Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched a new collaboration program under which the Australian independent oil and gas company will develop applications for Nasa’s Robonaut in its own operations. 

Under the partnership Nasa will loan Woodside an Anthropomorphic Robonaut System for a 60-month deployment in Perth. Together the two organisations will explore how the robotic technology could be used to improve safety, reliability and efficiency in the high-risk and remote environments where Woodside operates.

Woodside will contribute its advanced cognitive science technology, being developed in its Western Australian operations, and Nasa will share its expertise in Robonauts that are already being used for simple, repetitive, or especially dangerous tasks in places such as the International Space Station.  Continue reading Woodside Energy to train Nasa’s Robonaut to work in oil and gas industry

Nasa places order with SSL for robotic spacecraft which will fix satellites in orbit

New craft will be used to service satellites out in space 

Nasa has placed an order with Space Systems Loral for a robotic spacecraft which will go and fix satellites while in orbit. 

Nasa calls it the Restore-L servicing mission, and it is designed to demonstrate the ability to extend the life of a satellite in Low Earth Orbit. Scheduled launch is in 2020.

The Restore-L spacecraft will use robotics to grasp, refuel and relocate an existing US government satellite already in LEO orbit with the goal of demonstrating tools, technologies and techniques that can be implemented on future government and commercial missions.  Continue reading Nasa places order with SSL for robotic spacecraft which will fix satellites in orbit

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing? What’s the difference?

“Additive manufacturing” is increasingly used interchangeably with “3D printing”, so they essentially mean the same thing. The only difference seems to be that “3D printing” is used more by maker communities – hobbyists and inventors – and still retains some sort of novelty value, whereas “additive manufacturing” – despite being the newer term – is more likely to be preferred in industry circles, perhaps because it has the sound of an established technology. 

But it’s not really an “established” technology in the sense that it’s only been around for a relatively short time.

According to 3DPrintingIndustry.com, it was only in 2007 that a 3D printer was available for less than $10,000 – from a company called 3D Systems, which is today one of the most well-known providers of the technology.

The most advanced 3D printers still cost quite a lot of money, especially those used by high-end manufacturers, but there are good-quality, entry-level machines available today for as little as a few hundred dollars.  Continue reading Additive manufacturing or 3D printing? What’s the difference?

Exclusive: Nasa scientists set to revolutionise oil and gas business with robotics and automation technology

space shuttle

Houston company says it is bringing advanced technology from Nasa to elevate oil and gas operations through robotics and automation

A Texas business grounded in aerospace experience and space technology is changing the face of oil and gas.

Houston Mechatronics, a company founded by former Nasa roboticists, is incorporating intelligent automation and robotics into the energy industry in ways that streamline operations, improve both costs and quality, and remove workers from hazardous environments.

The recent focus on oil and gas was a natural one, says Matthew Ondler, Houston Mechatronics’ co-founder and president. Although the company works with clients across a range of industries, energy is feeling a pinch.  Continue reading Exclusive: Nasa scientists set to revolutionise oil and gas business with robotics and automation technology

Nasa selects ideas for space robotics, 3D printing and alien technologies

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Nasa has selected 21 research and technology proposals from American small businesses and research institutions that will enable Nasa’s future missions into the solar system and alien worlds further out in space. 

The agency says its selections also consider America’s technology-driven economy here on Earth.

The Phase II selectees of Nasa’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are permitted to enter negotiations for possible contract awards worth a combined total of approximately $15.8 million.

The program selected 21 innovative technology and projects from 41 US firms and research institutions in 20 different states.  Continue reading Nasa selects ideas for space robotics, 3D printing and alien technologies

Nasa to send solar-powered robotic spacecraft on mission to look for alien life on asteroid

Nasa is preparing to launch a solar-powered robotic spacecraft on the agency’s first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth.

The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth. It will also help establish the possible existence of alien life forms in outer space.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and bring a sample back to Earth for intensive study.

Launch is scheduled for 7:05 pm EDT Thursday, September 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Continue reading Nasa to send solar-powered robotic spacecraft on mission to look for alien life on asteroid

Nissan using alien technology from Mars inside autonomous car system

maarten sierhuis nissan
Alien technology scientist Maarten Sierhuis developed the ProPilot autonomous car system for Nissan

From Nasa mission control to the driver’s seat: an interview with the alien technology developer shaping the future of autonomous driving for Nissan 

Space was not the final frontier for computer scientist Maarten Sierhuis.

The former Nasa scientist, who once designed human-robot interactions and developed collaborative intelligent systems for space exploration, now focuses his efforts a bit closer to home: the artificial intelligence that’s helping power the future of Nissan’s autonomous vehicles.

But the passion that carried the robotics and artificial intelligence expert to the apogee of the US space program hasn’t cooled with his move to an earthly job as director of the Nissan Research Center (NRC) in California’s Silicon Valley.  Continue reading Nissan using alien technology from Mars inside autonomous car system

SSL to provide robotic arms to Darpa for satellite servicing

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SSL artist rendering robotic arms. Source: Darpa (PRNewsFoto/SSL)

Space Systems Loral (SSL), a provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, has received $20.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to design and build robotic arm flight hardware for the first phase of the agency’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program.

SSL is receiving the funds through MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, and is working with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which is the prime contractor managing the program.

The contract is for two complete robotic arm systems, which would be able to carefully capture and berth with satellites that were not previously designed for docking.  Continue reading SSL to provide robotic arms to Darpa for satellite servicing

Nasa’s outer space additive manufacturing facility targets alien market

3d printing in space
Nasa wants to 3D print spacecraft using additive manufacturing techniques

Just when you thought things could not get any crazier, Nasa has set up an additive manufacturing plant in space that could take 3D printing orders from aliens 

Nasa’s advanced manufacturing system has been installed on the International Space Station and is said to be attracting considerable interest from unknown beings across the cosmos. 

Originally intended as an emergency tool shop for the ISS crew, the zero-gravity 3D printing facility is now being made available to extraterrestrial customers across the universe.

While Nasa is still waiting for its first alien customers, Earthlings are taking a strong interest in the system created by a company called Made In SpaceContinue reading Nasa’s outer space additive manufacturing facility targets alien market