GITAI USA Inc., a space robotics startup, is gearing up to send its 1.5-meter-long autonomous dual robotic arm system, known as S2, to the International Space Station (ISS).
Scheduled for liftoff aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with the NG-20 Mission on January 29, this technology aims to mark a new era in in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM).
S2 and its mission
Having successfully navigated through rigorous NASA safety reviews, the S2 will be mounted externally to the ISS on the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock. During its mission, the robotic arm will undertake a series of on-orbit services, showcasing its capabilities in maintenance, inspection, and life-extension operations for satellites.
One of the standout features of S2 is its proprietary tool changer, enabling it to perform a variety of high-precision general-purpose tasks.
“We are excited that S2 will be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate extravehicular capabilities. S2 is a robot that embodies the essence of GITAI’s robotics technology, incorporating the same fundamental technology used in our innovative Inchworm Robot and Lunar Rover,” said Sho Nakanose, Founder & CEO of GITAI in a statement.
Additionally, Nakanose emphasized the significance of this demonstration, highlighting its potential to serve as a major milestone for the company.
“The success of this demonstration will be a major milestone for GITAI, confirming the feasibility of this technology as a fully operational system in space.”—Sho Nakanose, Founder & CEO, GITAI
This mission represents the company’s second demonstration onboard the ISS. In fact, in 2021 the company successfully demonstrated its S1 autonomous space robot, showcasing its prowess in assembling structures and panels for In-Space Assembly (ISA) and operating switches & cables for Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA).
More about GITAI
GITAI, which aims to position itself as one of the world’s leading space robotics startup, is driven by a vision to provide safe and affordable labor in space while significantly reducing operational costs.
Particularly, the company’s goal is to develop highly capable, safe, and reliable robots to contribute to the construction and maintenance of satellites, space stations, lunar bases, and even cities on Mars.
Moreover, by demonstrating the S2’s capabilities in space, the company aims to achieve a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 7, solidifying its position in the space robotics industry.
The company has ambitious plans to provide on-orbit satellite servicing in both Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO), actively working on a spacecraft capable of performing rendezvous, repair, inspection, and life extension services for customers’ satellites.