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NASA Puts In-Space Assembly Robots to the Test

HAMPTON, Va.- Engineers will test several components of the Commercial Infrastructure for Robotic Assembly and Services (CIRAS) project at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia that may one day be used to build large space structures.

Attendees at the event will witness the Tension Actuated in Space MANipulator (TALISMAN) robotic arm demonstrate deployment of a solar array and the Strut Assembly, Manufacturing, Utility & Robotic Aid (SAMURAI) and NASA Intelligent Jigging and Assembly Robot (NINJAR) demonstrate autonomous truss building. Subject matter experts, including Chuck Taylor, CIRAS project manager for NASA, John Dorsey, NASA principal investigator for CIRAS, and Frank DeMauro, Northrop Grumman vice president of advanced programs, will also be in attendance.

TALISMAN, SAMURAI, and NINJAR are components of CIRAS, part of the In-Space Robotic Manufacturing and Assembly project portfolio, managed by NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions Program and sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

These are the final demonstrations in the first phase of the project. The project, aimed at advancing technologies to be able to autonomously construct large platforms in space, is being conducted in collaboration with industry partners. The CIRAS team includes prime contractor Northrop Grumman of Falls Church, Virginia, supported by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Space Logistics, LLC; along with Langley; NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

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