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NASA funds in-space manufacturing demo

1 Feb 2020, 02:49 UTC
NASA funds in-space manufacturing demo
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An artist’s conception shows Maxar Technologies’ SPIDER robot assembling a communications antenna for the Restore-L spacecraft. (Maxar Technologies Illustration)
NASA has awarded a $142 million contract to Maxar Technologies for a demonstration of in-space construction technologies, including the robotic assembly of a communications antenna and the production of a structural beam.
The beam-manufacturing device, known as MakerSat, is being provided by Tethers Unlimited, a space technology company headquartered in Bothell, Wash.
Maxar, Tethers Unlimited and other partners — including the West Virginia Robotic Technology Center and NASA’s Langley Research Center — will have their hardware integrated onto NASA’s Restore-L spacecraft, which Maxar is getting ready for launch in the 2020s.
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