NASA cancels multibillion-dollar satellite servicing demo missio

NASA Cancels Multi-Billion Dollar Robotic Satellite Servicing Mission

NASA has announced the cancellation of the OSAM-1 mission, a project aimed at demonstrating robotic satellite servicing technology in orbit. The project, which has already cost $1.5 billion, would have required nearly $1 billion more to get to the launch pad.

The OSAM-1 mission involved tasks such as grappling and refueling an aging Landsat satellite in orbit, as well as assembling a communications antenna using a robotic arm. However, NASA cited technical, cost, and schedule challenges as reasons for canceling the project.

The costs of the mission have increased since its inception in 2016, with the addition of the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER) causing further delays and cost overruns. Congress had provided nearly $1.5 billion in funding for the mission, double what NASA had initially requested.

The decision to cancel the project comes after an independent project review, which recognized the changing landscape of the satellite servicing industry. Companies in the satellite servicing market have been focusing on alternative ways to extend satellite life, rather than refueling unprepared spacecraft.

With the cancellation of the OSAM-1 mission, NASA officials are now looking towards new opportunities and advancements in satellite servicing technology. The decision reflects the agency’s commitment to adapt to the evolving needs of the industry and prioritize efficient and cost-effective approaches to space exploration.

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