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Program Manager, NASA Ranger Telerobotic Flight Experiment Project Space Systems Laboratory University of Maryland
The Ranger Telerobotic Flight Experiment (TFX) is a low-cost demonstration of telerobotic spacecraft servicing operations in Earth orbit. The Ranger TFX vehicle, which consists of four manipulator arms mounted on a free-flying spacecraft bus, will be launched to low Earth orbit on an expendable rocket in early 1997. Once on orbit, Ranger TFX will perform a series of tasks to characterize the performance of its manipulators in the space environment, and then will perform a series of servicing tasks on representative hardware from the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope. Finally, Ranger TFX will detach from the upper stage of the booster, which will serve as the target satellite, and perform free-flying proximity and rendezvous & docking operations.
The Ranger mission will last for approximately 30 days, giving approximately 135 overhead passes for telerobotic experiment sessions. The experiments will correlate data taken from similar servicing operations performed in the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility at the University of Maryland's Space Systems Laboratory. In fact, the Space Systems Laboratory will serve as the control center for both the neutral buoyancy and space flight vehicles, giving a unique opportunity to perform experimental data runs and operator training in rapid succession.
A number of new technologies will be flown on the Ranger TFX vehicle, including advanced manipulator control algorithms, high power-density solar arrays, and highly efficient video compression hardware. Additional opportunities exist for incorporation of new spacecraft and robotic system technologies into the Ranger mission. In his presentation, Mr. Parrish will provide a technical and programmatic overview of the Ranger program and will discuss possible technology applications. Attendees are encouraged to identify potentially applicable technologies being developed at Carnegie Mellon University.
Host: Yangsheng Xu (email@example.com) Appointment: Ava Cruse (firstname.lastname@example.org)