Today, NASA’s so-called robot hotel will start its journey towards the ISS atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The delivery is a part of SpaceX’s trade-related resupply mission. Well, it sounds less trendy, the robot hotel has an official name as the RiTS and the Robotic Tool Stowage. Engineers have designed the RiTS to fit it on the outer side of the ISS. The aim is to preserve significant apparatus from the threats of space. By functioning together, the RiTS and apparatus will assist the ISS’s precious systems. Thus the robotic hotel will act as a protective storage unit.
First of all, it will be used to host two Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL). The pair is mass spectrometers having the specialty in spotting leakage of ammonia from the orbiting lab. NASA has already ferried the two RELL units to the space lab. Currently, they are present in the lab, securing the expensive, limited area. The expedition aboard will have to spend its crucial time in the hardware deployment. Whereas, NASA’s ground team will operate the pair of leak detectors. NASA says the process of implementation will take some time, but it will ensure the availability of airlock. Astronauts will set the hotel such that the orbiting lab’s Dextre robotic arm can use the equipment whenever essential.
Mark Neuman, the hardware manager of RiTS, said, for every stored equipment, the hotel will offer physical protection against radiations, heat, and micrometeoroids. Apart from this, it will provide security against small, high-speed space objects hurtling through space. Mark said it is a thermal system that will assist in retaining absolute temperatures for the tools. As a result, the instruments will remain operative and durable. In the end, the pair of leakage detectors will be the first guest of the exclusive hotel in the space. This deployment of robots in the RiTS will pave a new way towards the future. Besides, such robotic and human alliances might seem helpful in future space missions to Moon and Mars.