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Astrobee Status and Future Use to be Presented at the 69th International Astronautical Congress October 4th
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Astrobee Status and Future Use to be Presented at the 69th International Astronautical Congress October 4th

Robotics and Systems Engineer Andres Mora Vargas (Asociacion Centroamericana de Aueronautica y del Espacio – ACAE) will present work from a paper titled, “Astrobee: Current Status and Future Use as an International Research Platform”, at a technical session of the 69th International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, on October 4th. The Astrobee free-flying satellites will replace the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The presentation will describe updates on Astrobee’s development status and its software, and the ground facilities used for testing. The presentation also covers initial uses of Astrobee as a research and educational platform, including the Zero Robotics competition for students ages 12-18, and the Guest Science Program. Guest scientists from all of industry, academia, and government will use Astrobees to test a variety of mobile payloads and sensors, as well as carry out experiments ranging from human-robot interaction studies to examination of fluid behavior in microgravity. Several of the hardware and software payloads currently under development for Astrobee and the transition from SPHERES to Astrobee will also be covered.

BACKGROUND: Astrobee will be a free-flying robot on the ISS that can be remotely operated by astronauts in space, or by mission controllers on the ground. Astrobee is being developed to perform a variety of Intra-Vehicular Activities (IVAs). These IVA tasks include interior environmental surveys (e.g., sound level measurement), inventory, and mobile camera work. Astrobee will also serve as a platform for robotics research in microgravity.

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) consists of a scientific conference program and a space exhibition. It is a once-a-year opportunity for about 4,000 space actors from all over the world to come together. Global, multidisciplinary, and covering all space sectors and topics, IAC offers everyone the latest space information and the chance to make new contacts and forge potential partnerships. Bremen is Germany's main ‘space city’ and one of Europe's major space centers. With its outstanding and extensive space sector encompassing global players in industry and internationally renowned research institutes, Bremen offers an exceptionally fruitful environment for assembling the global space community.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Game Changing Development (GCD) program, Space Technology Missions Directorate (STMD)

TEAM: Watson Attai, Jonathan Barlow, Stephen Battazzo, Jeff Blair, Katie Browne, Maria Bualat, Robert Carlino, Brian Coltin, Jose Cortez, Earl Daley, Lorenzo Fluckiger, Terry Fong, Jesse Fusco, Robert Hanson, Simon Kanis, Ali Kashani, Aric Katterhagen, Yunkyung Kim, John Love, Nghia Mai, Alberto Makino, Mike McIntyre, Blair McLachlan, Don Morr, Ted Morse, Robert Nakamura, In Won Park, Cedric Priscal, Estrellina Pacis Rius, Hugo Sanchez, Ernie Smith, Trey Smith, Corey Snyder, Don Soloway, Andrew Symington, Omar Talavera, Vinh To, Andres Mora Vargas (ACAE), DW Wheeler, Shang Wu, and Jongwoon Yoo

POINT OF CONTACT: Jose Benavides,

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