Robots are going to do a lot of work for us in space in the future. Take SPace Infrastructure DExterous Robot (SPIDER) for instance: it is a robot from Maxar technologies that will assemble and reconfigure spacecraft components while on-orbit. According to the company, the robot has completed its critical design review. It is on track for delivery to NASA in the first half of 2022.
As part of the OSAM-1 mission, SPIDER will also demonstrate in-space manufacturing using Tethers Unlimited’s MakerSat. MakerSat will manufacture a 10-meter lightweight composite beam, verifying its capability to form large spacecraft structures for future missions. As it manufactures the beam, MakerSat will measure the beam’s straightness and mechanical properties to determine if it is built to prescribed requirements.