NASA astronaut Ann McClain has completed the firstA series of equipment tests for one of three Astrobee robots - Bumble - on the International Space Station. On board the experimental Japanese Kibo module on February 15 of this year, a special charging station for robots was installed. Bumble and Honey, currently on the ISS, launched into orbit on April 17 will be able to use it to recharge their batteries by connecting to it themselves.
On April 30th, Anne McClein unpacked Bumble andThe support of the Astrobee project development team, which was located at NASA’s Ames Research Center at NASA, carried out an inspection of all auxiliary systems of the robot - avionics, cameras, propulsion system, as well as data transfer and charging. Full operation of robots should begin very soon.
NASA notes that the task of robots will bebe in the automated maintenance of the ISS, as well as data collection to improve the following devices. The agency believes that such robots will be able to play one of the most important roles in the agency’s program for returning humans to the moon, as well as other projects aimed at exploring deep space. The use of robots will allow them to pass on complex, dangerous and routine work, while the astronauts will be engaged in more important tasks - scientific experiments and research. NASA plans that it will also reduce the number of astronauts on board.
Bumble robot mounted on charging station
Astrobee is a free flying robot system,which will provide a research platform for the orbital laboratory. The main goal of Astrobee is to test automated platforms in zero gravity. Only two Astrobee robots were sent to the ISS, but soon the third Queen robot will be sent.
"Astrobee will prove that robots can improvehuman research. Conducting such experiments under zero gravity conditions will ultimately allow development of new hardware and software for future space flights, ”the American space agency notes.
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