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Northrop Grumman completes first robotic docking to a satellite

Capitalism in space: Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) on February 25, 2020 completed first robotic docking to a satellite for the express goal of extending that satellite’s life.

This was the first time ever that a commercial robotic satellite docked with a second commercial satellite for such a purpose. It was also the first time such a docking has been done using no government funds.

More information here.

MEV-1 will stay docked to this satellite for about five years, providing it attitude control and guidance. The robot will then move the satellite into a safe graveyard orbit, detach, and be then capable of docking with a second satellite to extend its life as well. Moreover, Northrop Grumman is building a second MEV, with the hope it will be hired to save other satellites.

This achievement lays the foundation for a new stage in commercial space. It proves that unmanned robots can dock with objects in space, both to repair them and extend their life, but also to remove them from orbit and thus reduce the quantity of space junk.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • wodun

    This is really big news and is a capability that isn’t just important now but will be even more important as we develop cis-lunar and Mars space.

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