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Nanoracks Announces In-Space Outpost Demonstration

22 Oct 2019, 17:44 UTC
Nanoracks Announces In-Space Outpost Demonstration
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Orbital outpost (Credit: NanoRacks)

A letter from CEO Jeffrey Manber

Friends,

What a few months it has been! I know it has been some time since we’ve posted an update on our Outpost program and NASA NextSTEP-2 effort, but that’s because we’ve been working on something really unique.

We have been working very hard with NASA to demonstrate how Nanoracks can make unique contributions to supporting the agency’s efforts going forward to Moon, Mars, and deep space. NASA has turned to industry to put these exploration efforts into high gear. So, we at Nanoracks had to turn things up a notch.

Today, I’m really excited to share what these discussions have culminated to: Our very first in-space Outpost demonstration mission!

Nanoracks will be building a self-contained hosted payload platform that will demonstrate the robotic cutting of second stage representative tank material on-orbit. Never before has structural metal cutting been done in-space.

As a member of the Outpost program team, Maxar will develop a new articulating robotic arm with a friction milling end-effector for this mission. This friction milling will use high rotations per minute melting our metal material in such a way that a cut is made, yet we ...

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