OSAM-1 (On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1) was a cancelled NASA spacecraft designed to test on-orbit refilling of satellites. It was previously known as Restore-L.[1][2][3]

Originally scheduled to launch in 2020,[4] its launch at the time of cancellation was planned for no earlier than 2026.[5] Its primary objective was the complex refueling of Landsat 7, a satellite launched in 1999. This would have involved grasping the satellite with a mechanical arm, gaining access to the satellite's fuel tank by cutting through insulation and wires and unscrewing a bolt, and then attaching a hose to pump in hydrazine fuel. This was expected to have been the first refueling of a satellite in space, and a demonstration of the potential to repair the thousands of active satellites in orbit and keep them in operation.[1] Because the satellites now in space were not designed to be serviced, there are significant challenges to doing so successfully.[1][2]

OSAM-1's second objective was to deploy a separate robot called SPIDER (Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot) to build a new structure in space. Using robots to build and assemble new structural components from scratch would be an important step towards a type of space-based construction that had been impossible to date.[1]

Description edit

The OSAM-1 spacecraft was to include:

  • two arms to grapple the target satellite
  • the attached payload for SPIDER

History edit

In 2016, NASA's Restore-L satellite was intended to refuel Landsat 7.[4]

In 2020, SPIDER was added and the name was changed from Restore-L to OSAM-1.

On 1 March 2024, NASA announced that OSAM-1 had been cancelled due to "continued technical, cost, and schedule challenges, and a broader community evolution away from refueling unprepared spacecraft."[6]

Cost & legacy edit

At cancellation in 2024, about $2 billion had been invested in the project.[7]

Progression edit

A subsequent mission, OSAM-2, would have also had two robotic arms.[8] OSAM-2 would have used ModuLink software which is based on xLink.[8] In 2023, NASA decided to conclude the OSAM-2 project without proceeding to a flight demonstration.[9]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Kleiner, Kurt (24 February 2022). "Orbiting robots could help fix and fuel satellites in space". Knowable Magazine. doi:10.1146/knowable-022422-1. S2CID 247119849. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b Henshaw, Carl Glen; Glassner, Samantha; Naasz, Bo; Roberts, Brian (3 May 2022). "Grappling Spacecraft". Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems. 5: 137–159. doi:10.1146/annurev-control-042920-011106. ISSN 2573-5144. S2CID 242628083. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  3. ^ "OSAM-1 Mission". NASA. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  4. ^ a b Hall, Loura (22 June 2016). "NASA's Restore-L Mission to Refuel Landsat 7, Demonstrate Technologies". NASA. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  5. ^ "OSAM-1: Proving Satellite Servicing—Starting with Landsat 7". Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA. 26 August 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  6. ^ Foust, Jeff (1 March 2024). "NASA cancels OSAM-1 satellite servicing technology mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  7. ^ Oxford, Clarence (3 March 2024). "NASA Ends $2 Billion Satellite Refueling Project Amid Challenges". Space Daily. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  8. ^ "On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 2 (OSAM-2)". NASA. 30 October 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2024.

External links edit