NASA launches a ‘Robot Hotel’ on the International Space Station

The International Space Station

Nasa wants to commercialise space but the International Space Station will be decommissioned by the end of the 2020s

One of those pieces of cargo is a new 'robot hotel' that will provide a protected parking space for mission-critical robots at the ISS when they're not in use.

The first guests at the hotel will be two robots called Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL - because acronyms).

Spacex It is scheduled to launch its 19th Commercial Replenishment Mission (CRS) for the International Space Station today, with a scheduled take-off time for 12:51 PM EST (9:51 AM EST).

The hotel, RiTS will be attached to the outside of the ISS to create and save storage on the inside. The mission includes a wealth of science experiments and supplies for the crew of the orbiting laboratory.

RiTS reduces the time it takes for RELL units to be deployed which can be weeks or even months by storing them externally. Once outside the station, those detectors now need to wait 12 hours in space to clear itself of water vapor and other gases from inside the station.

However, over its lifetime, the space station has accumulated occasional small ammonia leaks at its joints, often as a result of micrometeroids. It also needs to be bought outside the space station using the Dextre robotic arm- used to perform maintenance operations.

After its launch, the RiTS will be installed via a spacewalk by astronauts, and it will then stay on the outside of the station.

NASA plans on employing RiTS and RELL systems on the Lunar Gateway and human habitats on other planets.

The tool stowage assembly was developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in partnership with NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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