Nanoracks Confirms Follow-Up Bishop Airlock Mission with Japan’s Gitai
Nanoracks confirmed Monday that it will conduct a second Bishop Airlock mission with Japanese space robotics startup Gitai. A follow-up to the companies’ successful Bishop Airlock demonstration in 2021, the second mission will involve demonstrating “S2,” Gitai’s 1.5 meter-class dexterous robotic system.
Bishop Airlock was the first permanent, commercial platform added to the International Space Station when it was launched in December 2020. Nanoracks, whose parent company X.O. Markets is now owned by Voyager Space, said its second Bishop Airlock mission will demonstrate an expansion of the capabilities it demonstrated with Gitai last year, such as In-space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM). The mission will utilize a full open-close cycle of the Bishop Airlock.
Nanoracks added that the demonstration will be key in exhibiting how commercial activities could be conducted on Starlab, Nanoracks’ and Voyager Space’s planned continuously crewed, free-flying commercial space station.
“This mission is a key stepping-stone towards commercialization of LEO enabling both government and private sectors to obtain robust and high-performance robotics in space,” said Dr. Amela Wilson, CEO of Nanoracks. “Missions like this allow the Nanoracks team to test and execute on space station operations that will be critical for customer success on Starlab.”