Canada’s star space robot Dextre is busy working tasks aimed at finding solutions to enable the robotic refueling of spacecraft. Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) follows on from the previous two test objectives that are evaluating techniques at advancing satellite servicing capabilities and enabling long-duration, deep space exploration.
RRM is an ISS payload developed by the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) – the same team that managed the highly intricate Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Missions via the Space Shuttle. It is designed to test procedures for refueling satellites in space, among other objectives.
The RRM1 launched on STS-135 back in July 2011 and Dextre showed off its skills by using an array of tools to conduct objectives that are set to be employed on future missions. This first series of tests were completed early in 2013 and deemed to be a success, paving the way for RRM2 in 2015.
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RRM3 – launched on a SpaceX Dragon during CRS-16 – builds on those early phases of ISS technology demonstrations that tested tools, technologies, and techniques to refuel and repair satellites in orbit.