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Thu, Feb 09, 2023

Motiv Space Systems Selected for Orbital Debris Mitigation

Robotics Specialist Chosen by SpaceWERX for Pilot Program to Reduce Amount of Orbital Trash

Motiv Space Systems has been selected by the U.S. Space Force's innovation arm, SpaceWERX, for a Phase 1 STTR to develop robotically aided Active Debris Remediation (ADR) services.

Motiv sees the opportunity as a chance to "expand the application space" of its xLink robotic product suite, pairing up their proprietary tech to address the hot-button issue of orbital debris removal. Motiv is partnered with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for the Orbital Prime contract. Both Motiv and NRL have been active within the In-space Service, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) community, building valuable connections and know-how to migrate their terrestrial tech into space with an on-orbit demonstration. In keeping with its mission, Orbital Prime will help accelerate the commercial viability of the ISAM market by bootstrapping the nascent industry with a focus on Active Debris Remediation. 

"We are extremely excited to have been selected by SpaceWERX to advance the state of in-space robotics with our partner, the Naval Research Lab, for the critical function of orbital debris removal," said Chris Thayer, chief executive officer of Motiv.

Motiv's modular, robotic systems have seen success in other NASA projects, like the ultra-low-temp COLDARM. Testing at the JPL has borne out the possibilities of their basic designs with DACEE motor controllers and bulk metallic glass gearing for simple, robust operation year after year. How much of that tech will be carried over remains to be seen, but Motiv has a solid base to start with.

FMI: www.spacewerx.us

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