Yes, You heard it right!
Now robots at NASA space station get all-new hotel to stay. Well, that’s the plan according to NASA. They’re planning to attach a Robotic Tool Stowage on the outside of the International Space Station. This RiTS launched on Dec. 4 aboard the 19th SpaceX commercial resupply mission. Its first residents will be two Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL). Outfitted with mass spectrometers capable of “sniffing” out the presence of gases such as ammonia, these robotic tools are used to detect leaks from the station. Two RELL units are on board the station right now: the first RELL launched in 2015, and it proved to be such a success that a second RELL was launched as a backup earlier this year.
“For each of its stored tools, RiTS will provide heat and physical protection from radiation and micrometeoroids, or tiny, high-speed objects hurtling through space,” said Mark Neuman, RiTS hardware manager. “Its thermal system maintains ideal temperatures for the instruments, helping them stay functional.” Having this housing unit in place will also help the space station’s robotic arm, Dextre, easily locate, grab and put back these important tools.
“This hardware will significantly reduce time and cost for the station crew to deploy leak detection capabilities using Dextre.” said NASA Senior Systems Integration Lead Chris Craw. “With RiTS, we’ll have easier and faster access to RELL, which can help ensure our astronauts’ safety in space.”