Space Robotics

NASA Autonomous Spacecraft Ready to Test

Posted 4 Apr 2005 at 16:55 UTC by steve Share This

A New Scientist article says that NASA hopes to launch a fully autonomous test vehicle on April 15th. The robot probe is called Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART). DART's goal is to do what many robots here on Earth are doing these days: GPS-guided waypoint navigation. Over a 24 hour period DART will move through 52 steps of direction and velocity changes to approach an experimental satellite. GPS will be used to get to the general area and then a laser sensor system will be used to move within 5 meters of the satellite. For more information see NASA's DART factsheet (PDF format).

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