Space Systems/Loral (SSL) has been selected by NASA to study system concepts and technologies for the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, designed as a stepping stone for future human Mars missions. SSL will conduct two studies; one that examines using MDA robotic technology for asteroid capture, and one that examines adapting commercial spacecraft for the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle.
Honeybee Robotics is serving as a development partner on the first of the two projects, known as the “Autonomous Boulder Liberation Equipment” study. The companies will collaborate to demonstrate the robotic placement and handling of excavation and capture tools to remove a boulder from the surface of an asteroid.
“Under SSL’s leadership, we have an exceptional team of experts to plan out the boulder liberation mission,” said Stephen Gorevan, chairman and co-founder of Honeybee Robotics. “This is a great opportunity for Honeybee to apply our heritage of planetary sampling technology with a strong partner in the industry. We’re excited to be working with SSL to support NASA’s mission and contribute to future human planetary exploration.”
You can read more about the SSL-led project on their press releases page.