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ASTRO Captures NextSat

2007-07-13--For the first time in history, a satellite autonomously used its robotic arm to rendezvous with and capture another satellite in space, paving the way for future space servicing operations. This innovative on-orbit mechanic called ASTRO (Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations) was designed and built by The Boeing Company. As part of The Boeing Orbital Express system, ASTRO successfully demonstrates advanced on-orbit satellite refueling and reconfiguration capabilities with NextSat, a prototype satellite developed by Ball Aerospace. ASTRO, the robotic, on-orbit spacecraft mechanic, successfully captured NextSat with its robotic arm on Saturday, June 23, marking an industry first. Orbital Express is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program, designed to validate on-orbit satellite servicing technologies.

Orbital Express: ASTRO autonomously rendezvous with and captures NextSat in an historic first.