NASA Launching a 'Robot Hotel' to the International Space Station

NASA Launching a 'Robot Hotel' to the International Space Station

NASA Launching a 'Robot Hotel' to the International Space Station

RiTS will provide protection from heat and physical protection from radiation and objects that are hurling through space.

"As of now, we're tracking no issues on Falcon 9, none on Dragon and we're on track with regards to timeline", said Jessica Jensen, director of Dragon Mission Management at SpaceX.

RELL was first launched in 2015 and was so successful that it launched a second one this year for backup.

SpaceX delayed the launch of its CRS-19 resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) today due to bad weather.

The housing unit's thermal system maintains ideal temperatures for the instruments, helping them stay functional, according to Neuman. The Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) was developed by Satellite Servicing Projects Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a special protective storage unit for important robotic tools. The spacecraft - which has made two previous visits to the space station - is expected to arrive at the ISS on Saturday and remain there until January 4.

With RiTS, this entire process would only depend on Dextre's availability, greatly expediting the search for leaks. International Space Station Program Manager Kenny Todd says "Santa's sleigh is certified for the vacuum of space".

RiTS even mounts to the robotic platform that moves Dextre up and down the external rails on station and ensures a RELL tool will always be accessible.

RiTS reduces the time it takes for RELL units to be deployed which can be weeks or even months by storing them externally. The leak detectors have mass spectrometers that can find leaks from the space station, NASA officials said.

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