Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACEWAR
Pentagon Wants Robots to Build Spaceships at High-Orbiting Transport Hub
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Sep 16, 2015


A highly capable robotic arm is the principle mechanism to be used on a new space base.

Building, repairing, refueling, upgrading, and transporting the spacecraft of the future using a single orbiting base - sounds like sci-fi, right? Not anymore, as researchers with the Pentagon's R and D arm DARPA are looking to build a huge transportation hub at 36,000 kilometers above Earth.

Humanity has long dreamed of space bases, and have tried their hands at experimental spacecraft, with varying degrees of success. Now, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon's incubator for defense tech, claims it's working on machinery that will allow for the construction of transportation hubs in geosynchronous orbit (GEO), around 36,000 kilometers (22,370 miles) over our planet's surface.

A highly capable robotic arm is the principle mechanism to be used on such a new space base, and DARPA's got it well in hand, according to former NASA astronaut Pam Melroy, now deputy director of DARPA's Tactical Technology Office.

"We think that these capabilities - space capabilities - are not just about a single monolithic satellite with a few capabilities, but instead about a vibrant, robust ecosystem that involves transportation, repair, refueling, upgrading, [and] in situ construction," Melroy said Thursday at DARPA's "Wait, What? A Future Technology Forum" in St. Louis, Space.com reported.

"Look at the great seafaring port cities in the world for inspiration, and imagine a port of call at 36,000 kilometers," she added.

Low-Earth orbit, where most satellites and the International Space Station fly, situated between 186 and 373 miles (300 to 600 km) above Earth, is far less preferable than GEO for building a transformative transportation hub, Melroy noted. Here's why:

+ Lower velocity means reduced risk of collisions, especially with space junk;

+ Much more stable orbit, as atmospheric drag is almost non-present;

+ Objects stay in GEO, while they tend to fall from low-Earth orbit within about 25 years.

As space radiation levels so far away from Earth are too high for astronauts' long-term exposure, the hub will be necessarily operated by robots, Melroy explained.

But no need for humanoid robots complete with arms and legs to live on the base and keep it functioning - just a piece of a robot is sufficient. A strong one.

The Pentagon wants to use "robotic arms very much like the one that was used to build the International Space Station, but with greater levels of automation and safety. DARPA is building just such a robotic arm," Melroy was quoted as saying by Space.com.

"We think this is a critical capability to building a transportation hub that allows transportation to and from the Earth's surface, from low-Earth orbit to GEO, and even beyond Earth orbit," Melroy said.

While the Pentagon is hard at work building robotic arms, the question of what, exactly, they intend to install on the station and transfer through it remains unknown.

.


Related Links
DARPA
Military Space News at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACEWAR
DOD starting new entity for sharing space information
Washington (UPI) Sep 14, 2015
A Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center is being created by the U.S. military for better information sharing. The center, with the acronym JICSpOC, is to be located at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. It is being established by the Department of Defense in conjunction with the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Space Command, and the intelligence community ... read more


SPACEWAR
China aims to land Chang'e-4 probe on far side of moon

China Plans Lunar Rover For Far Side of Moon

Russia Eyes Moon for Hi-Tech Lunar Base

Russia Gets Ready for New Moon Landing

SPACEWAR
Opportunity Driving West To Reach New Rock Target

One small step for man as astronaut controls robot from space

ASU instruments help scientists probe ancient Mars atmosphere

What Happened to Early Mars' Atmosphere

SPACEWAR
New Life for Old Buddy: Russia Tests Renewed Soyuz-MS Spacecraft

Opportunity found in lack of diversity in US tech sector

Boeing Revamps Production Facility for Starliner Flights

In Virginia, TechShop lets 'makers' tinker, innovate

SPACEWAR
Progress for Tiangong 2

China rocket parts hit villager's home: police, media

China's "sky eyes" help protect world heritage Angkor Wat

China's space exploration potential has US chasing its own tail

SPACEWAR
Slam dunk for Andreas in space controlling rover on ground

ISS Crew Enjoy Kharcho Soup, Mare's Milk in Orbit

Russian ISS Crew's Next Spacewalk Planned for February 2016

Mogensen begins busy ISS tour

SPACEWAR
First Ever Launch Vehicle to Be Sent to Russia's New Spaceport in Siberia

US Navy to Launch Folding-Fin Ground Attack Rocket on Scientific Mission

US Launches Atlas V Rocket With Navy Communications Satellite After Delay

FCube facility enters operations with fueling of Soyuz Fregat upper stage

SPACEWAR
Earth observations show how nitrogen may be detected on exoplanets, aiding search for life

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

A new model of gas giant planet formation

SPACEWAR
Material scientists develop transparent glass 3-D printing technology

Billie Holiday to return to New York stage -- by hologram

Indications of the origin of the Spin Seebeck effect discovered

Digital Fusion Solutions to help U.S. Army with laser project




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.