History of space robotics

The Japanese program Kiku-7, or “Engineering Test Satellite-7”, which in 1997 was the first satellite to demonstrate automated robot operations in orbit
The Orbital Express program, conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which demonstrated autonomous docking and robotic replacement of parts in 2007
The many space robotics programs and missions of the Canadian company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), including the Canadarm on the Space Shuttles and Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station
The many space robotics programs of the German Aerospace Center (known by its German initials DLR), including the ROKVISS experiment operated for many years on the ISS

Current programs in space robotics





The Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program, jointly being developed by DARPA and the satellite manufacturer SSL


A brief DARPA description of the RSGS program


The Effective Space SpaceDroneTM, a small robotic satellite that helps other satellites last longer on orbit




Future concepts

The robotic revolution that’s about to happen in Earth orbit 


A robotic space station, for testing new technologies, deploying satellites, and hosting experiments just like today’s International Space Station, but without humans


A very detailed study of how to use robots to manufacture rocket fuel on the Moon, using the water ice that has been discovered there


A visionary paper on planning for a space logistics infrastructure