NASA Building First Robot Hotel Outside ISS: How Will It Work? 


NASA is keenly exploring outer space with ambitious missions. However, the latest one is a 'robot hotel' outside the International Space Station. The NASA robot hotel is officially called the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS), which safeguards and stores critical robotic tools in a storage unit. The acronym is a pun with the famous Ritz hotel.

NASA Building First Robot Hotel Outside ISS


NASA Robot Hotel

If you're thinking something in terms of an actual hotel, the RiTS is more like a garage. NASA's present plan is to launch RiTS aboard the 19th SpaceX commercial resupply mission. Once the stowage unit is set up, two Robotic External Leak Locators or RELL will be the first residents.

In fact, the first RELL unit was launched back in 2015 and the second was launched as a backup earlier this year. The two RELL units are enabled with mass spectrometers that can detect leaks in the station and the presence of the gases like ammonia.

The NASA robot hotel or RiTS is more like a shelter or a parking space for the robots in space when they're not in use. " 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.

NASA Building First Robot Hotel Outside ISS

NASA Robot Hotel To Store RELL Units

The RiTS station is enabled with thermal systems, which help in maintaining the ideal temperature for the robotic instruments. It helps them to stay functional, even when not in use. Furthermore, the RELL units aboard the 'hotel' will help the ISS in finding leaks and damages. When the RELL units are not in use, they will be stored away in the new NASA robot hotel.


Moreover, since the upcoming RiTS is situated outside ISS, it'll help the RELL units even more. The RELL units generally take 12 full hours to examine the entire space station and need to be calibrated. RiTS will help in sending out the RELL units and bringing them back inside.

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