NASA is all set to add yet another feather to its cap after it announced that it will attach a 'robot hotel' outside of the International Space Station (ISS). The 'robot hotel' that was launched on December 4 aboard the 19th SpaceX commercial resupply mission will help in identifying leaks from the station. The robots will also provide heat and physical protection from radiation to the International Space Station.
The 'robot hotel' known as Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) was launched with two robots onboard known as Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL). Two RELL units are already onboard the International Space Station. The first RELL unit was launched in 2015, and after the success of the project, a second RELL unit was launched earlier this year.
RiTS will provide storage options for members on board of International Space Station. The RiTS is termed as a 'robot hotel' for its ability to store all the RELL units without occupying any space at the ISS. Keeping RELL inside the ISS takes a lot of space and storage on the station is very important for other scientific hardware and experiments. RiTS will provide additional space onboard the ISS and will allow them to keep important RELL units on the 'robot hotel'.
NASA's Senior Systems Integration Lead Chris Craw on its website said, "This hardware will significantly reduce time and cost for the station crew to deploy leak detection capabilities using Dextre. With RiTS, we’ll have easier and faster access to RELL, which can help ensure our astronauts’ safety in space."
After reaching its destination, RiTS will be installed by astronauts onboard of ISS who would be needing a small spacewalk to attach the hotel to the International Space Station. RiTS was developed by the Satellite Servicing Projects Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in partnership with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.