Maxar’s ‘SPIDER’ On-Orbit Servicing Robot Concludes Design Review for NASA; Robert Curbeam Quoted

Robert Curbeam Space Capture SVP Maxar
Robert Curbeam, Space Capture SVP, Maxar

Maxar Technologies’ on-orbit satellite servicing robotic technology has concluded critical design review activities and is slated for delivery to NASA within the first six months of 2022.

Maxar said Wednesday its SPace Infrastructure DExterous Robot will work to reconfigure and assemble satellites in space as part of the On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing-1 program of NASA.

SPIDER will integrate with a Maxar-built spacecraft bus.

The robotic arm will specifically assemble seven antenna reflector elements and use the Tethers Unlimited-built MakerSat tool to produce a 10-meter composite beam while in space.

Robert Curbeam, senior vice president of space capture at Maxar, said the company hopes to see the SPIDER technology implemented in applications such as on-orbit telescope assembly, Artemis lunar exploration activities and in-space servicing of commercial satellites.

Maxar announced its selection to demonstrate on-orbit satellite servicing through a robotic arm component in support of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in January 2020.

The West Virginia Robotic Technology Center partnered with Maxar to facilitate third-party verification activities for SPIDER.

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