NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitor Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will host this month’s Sunday Experiment on Nov. 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST.
This afternoon of free activities gives elementary aged and other family members a look into how NASA explores space and studies Earth from space using satellites and other technology.
This month’s focus is exploring the robotic technology of NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO).
Building upon 20 years’ experience servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, SSCO is now, according to NASA, advancing an exciting suite of technologies that would allow remote-controlled robots to refuel and upgrade satellites on orbit.
Servicing a satellite in space incorporates many engineering disciplines. Visitors will have a chance to learn how SSCO is developing capabilities for on-orbit fuel transfer, advanced tools, and operations using skilled robots, to name a few.
Visitors will be introduced to NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission, an International Space Station (ISS) experiment that has been demonstrating satellite-servicing tools, technologies and techniques since 2011.
In addition to celebrating all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the Sunday Experiment celebrates major science missions that are managed by NASA Goddard teams and set to launch in the near future.
The Sunday Experiment is a place where the entire family can discover the excitement of Goddard through fun and engaging activities.
From the ISS to the ground, SSCO is continually developing robotic technologies for space operations. Participants will have the chance to try their hand operating a remote control, 14-inch robot with four motors and a gripper to grab and move different objects on an activity board.
Visitors will also be able to control a virtual robot via a computer-simulated workspace to perform tasks.
This Sunday Experiment will also include a virtual tour of the Cauldron, the newest SSCO facility for satellite servicing technology development. Within its simulated space environment, the SSCO team tests technologies and operations for multiple exploration and science missions.
These tests include developing satellite servicing technology for NASA’s upcoming Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission. Led by a NASA robotics engineer, this virtual tour will introduce visitors to the cutting-edge technology and robotics used at Goddard.
The Sunday Experiment–usually held the third Sunday of each month from September through May with some exceptions–spotlights Goddard’s world-renowned science and engineering.
According to NASA, families leave inspired by the activities, wowed by the scientists and engineers, and excited about Goddard’s research and technology.
In addition to celebrating all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Sunday Experiment celebrates major science missions that are managed by Goddard and set to launch in the near future.