Greenbelt, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems has signed a sole source agreement with NASA to offer systems engineering services to perform two demonstrations to examine and validate the latest robotic servicing functionalities utilizing the Dextre robot on the International Space Station.
The Systems Engineering for In-Space Servicing (SEISS) is a $31.2 million worth contract that extends for 18 months.
The Dextre or Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator is a two-handed robotic system developed by the Canadian Space Agency to execute complex servicing and maintenance jobs for which spacewalks were needed in the earlier operations.
The Dextre, a custom-made payload task box and special purpose tools will be used in the first demonstration to robotically exhibit repair and refueling jobs in orbit. The jobs comprise targeting, accessing and opening valves and filling simulated liquid fuel. In the second demonstration, Dextre will examine and verify different sensors, equipment and tools to back independent rendezvous and capture functionalities for spacecraft systems in the orbit.
Greenbelt-located Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA is creating payloads for both demonstrations that are planned to improve technical potential of NASA to perform robotic in-space servicing. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract comprises hardware design, development of flight and ground support hardware and software, mission planning backup requirements definition and verification.