Robots to replace astronauts in future space missions, repairs and more

Robotic service stations in orbit to repair satellites soon

Scientists test robots on Etna moonscape ahead of next lunar mission
Representational image

Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), the United States government body and NASA have teamed up to build robotic technology that can refuel and repair friendly satellites in future. The robotic satellites, which have been named "service stations in orbit" would not only refuel satellites but it will also drastically improve their longevity and lifespan.

The robots can keep up with current orbiters as they age and sustain damage and could fix minor maintenance issues, a report in Futurism revealed.

In addition to this, the authorities also expect to keep the orbit clear of debris called space pollution. The pollution is usually caused by broken satellites abandoned in the space.

In 2015, there were about 25,000 human-made objects larger than a human fist and roughly half a million larger than a dime orbiting Earth. These satellites could also face off against mechanical foes in orbit. This suggests that it could sabotage enemy satellites in the event of war, reportedly by dismantling opponents or forcing them to crash. The report also highlighted that the satellites could also play defence, by monitoring for tampering.

(With inputs from IANS)

This article was first published on January 1, 2018
Related topics : Nasa