Press Release

GITAI and Nanoracks announce technical demonstration of a GITAI robot inside the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock

By SpaceRef Editor
September 9, 2020
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Ground experiment video of the GITAI robot technical demonstration for versatile tasks inside the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (recorded in the ISS mock-up facility at the GITAI Tokyo office)

September 9, 2020 – Tokyo, Japan – In 2021, space robotics start-up GITAI, in collaboration with Nanoracks, will conduct a technical demonstration of a GITAI robot executing versatile tasks inside the Nanoracks’ Bishop Airlock Module installed on Node 3 of the International Space Station (ISS). In this technical demonstration, GITAI’s space robot “S1” will be installed inside Bishop’s pressurized volume to conduct two experiments: IVA (Intra-Vehicular Activity) tasks such as switch and cable operations, and assembly of structures and panels to demonstrate its capability for ISA (In-Space Assembly). All operations conducted by the S1 GITAI robotic arm will be autonomous, followed by some tele-operations from Nanoracks’ in-house mission control. GITAI is managing the technical development of the S1 space robotic arm. Nanoracks is providing the launch opportunity, managing on-orbit operations, and data downlink. Nanoracks is providing this ISS opportunity via their Space Act Agreement with NASA.  

Through this technical demonstration, GITAI will acquire the technology, know-how, and experience necessary to develop a robot that can conduct versatile tasks in space. This demonstration will be applied to future development of autonomous robots working in the harsh space environment that can conduct docking, repairs, and maintenance tasks for On-Orbit Servicing (OOS) and conduct various tasks for lunar exploration and lunar base construction. 

“We are very excited to be the world’s first private company to conduct a technical demonstration of a space robot, in collaboration with the world’s leading provider of commercial space services, Nanoracks,” says GITAI’s Founder & CEO, Mr. Sho Nakanose. “In the current space market, there are many players trying to solve the space transportation problem, but very few standing up to the challenge to provide an alternative option for getting work done in space. However, in today’s booming space industry, there is a growing demand for versatile tasks to be conducted in space, but in a more reasonable and non-life-threatening manner. With the success of this technical demonstration, GITAI will be able to provide a significantly cheaper and safer means of conducting various tasks in space, which will bring about a true dawn of the space commercialization age.” 

“We are thrilled to be working with GITAI for the first commercial project scheduled in the Bishop Airlock,” says Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We designed Bishop with the goal of providing increased commercial access to the International Space Station (ISS) and building a platform that allows for complex and customizable projects that were not able to be completed on the ISS before. The Bishop Airlock is a place for creativity, and we cannot wait to see GITAI’s robotics come to life and enable incredible new technology.”

SpaceRef staff editor.