Space research is undergoing an unprecedented revolution and automation as well as robotics are at its core.
The EU has funded a Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) under the Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme to foster the use of robotics for orbital applications and for space exploration.
The cluster was composed of interconnected projects, each tackling a different technological challenge involving space robotics. PERASPERA (and its successor PERASPERA-X) contributed to the implementation of the SRC with roadmaps and technical support from national space agencies and the European Space Agency.
The cluster began by developing technological building blocks to serve different scenarios in space, such as robotic satellite servicing and space exploration.
The SRC ended in 2023 with successful demonstrations integrating the building blocks and brought Europe to the forefront of international efforts to increase automation in space.
|PERIOD - SPACE FACTORIES OF THE FUTURE|
Have you ever heard of a satellite made-in-Space in a robotised factory?
CoRob-X - ONE GIANT LEAP FOR COOPERATING ROBOTS
CoRob-X demonstrated in a moon-like analogue setting how a set of three different rovers can cooperate and explore a real lava tube, like those on the Moon.
Space exploration technologies can also be used on Earth. For example, the project applied the technologies to an industrial mining scenario with different robots including an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
|EROSS+ & EROSS IOD - AT YOUR SERVICE|
Space Robots are at the heart of on-orbit servicing – they can repair, refuel and upgrade satellites.
The European Robotic Orbital Support Services In Orbit Demonstrator EROSS IOD has just kicked-off building on the results of the SRC. It aims to mature the necessary technologies for robotic on-orbit servicing and to launch them to space by 2026.
The future space ecosystem
The cluster has delivered impressive results and has contributed significantly to a new impetus for in-space activities including servicing and assembling satellites in orbit and removing debris.
Congratulations to the 16 consortia and 67 beneficiaries for successfully implementing the Horizon 2020 Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies and for bringing Europe closer to an intelligent Future Space Ecosystem!