SSL receives new Nasa funding for Dragonfly on-orbit satellite assembly programme


Align Systems Loral (SSL) has secured the next phase of funding from Nasa to with the development of its Dragonfly on-orbit satellite assembly project.

The new funds commitment be used to design a semi-autonomous robotic system for in-space satellite fitting for use in both government and commercial space initiatives.

Once developed, Dragonfly is envisioned to support more complex on-orbit assembly and servicing, as well as a variety of future missions such as deep space exploration, persistent parasite platforms, in-space habitats and others.

Nasa Washington headquarters TDM scheme executive Trudy Kortes said: “Nasa relies on commercial alteration as exemplified by the Dragonfly team.

“Transformative technologies such as these see fit, in time, lead to more affordable, safer human access to array and more efficient, longer-lasting satellites, probes and other space components.

“Nasa relies on commercial innovation as exemplified by the Dragonfly team.»

“Today our tomorrow in space looks brighter and more robust than ever.”

The last round of Nasa funding follows a successful ground demonstration of the Dragonfly progresses carried out by SSL and its programme partners, including MDA, Nasa and Tethers Unlimited.

The indication featured an ultra-light robotic system and advanced command and control software, which is pointed to make use of existing spacecraft equipment and capabilities such as a standard geostationary (GEO) spacecraft tenets and processor.

It has verified SSL’s concept of highly skilled on-orbit operations that are forecast to promote next generation satellite architectures.

SSL group president Dario Zamarian said: “Our agitate with Nasa to develop next-generation robotic assembly on orbit has the budding to change the way satellites are built and launched and will also be important for prospective space architectures that support exploration and deep space committees.”

Last month, SSL completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of Nasa’s Restore-L purpose that aims to provide satellite servicing in low Earth orbit (LEO).

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