GITAI Passes All NASA Safety Reviews for ISS Onboard Demonstration, Ready for Launch

GITAI Japan, Inc. (Ota-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Mr. Sho Nakanose), developing versatile robots that conduct tasks in space, has passed all the NASA safety reviews required to send a GITAI robot to the ISS (International Space Station) in 2021, to conduct a technical demonstration of executing various tasks inside the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock. All launch preparations to the ISS have been completed, and the GITAI robot will be transported to the ISS on a SpaceX rocket (Dragon cargo spacecraft, CRS-23) scheduled to launch on August 18, 2021 (launch date and time subject to change).


■Summary of the GITAI technical demonstration on NASA’s official website
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■ISS onboard demonstration to be conducted by GITAI
In 2021, space robotics start-up GITAI, in collaboration with Nanoracks, will conduct a technical demonstration of a GITAI robot executing versatile tasks inside the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock installed on Node 3 of the ISS. GITAI is responsible for the development of the S1 space robotic arm, Nanoracks is providing the launch opportunity, on-orbit operations, and data downlink. NASA is in charge of transporting the S1 space robotic arm to the ISS and installing it (by NASA astronauts) inside the Bishop Airlock.

In this technical demonstration, GITAI’s space robot “S1” will be installed inside the ISS Bishop Airlock to conduct two experiments: IVA (Intra-Vehicular Activity) tasks such as switch and cable operations, and assembly of structures and panels to demonstrate its capability for ISA (In-Space Assembly). All operations conducted by the S1 GITAI robotic arm will be autonomous, followed by some teleoperations from Nanoracks’ mission control center in Houston.

※Ground experiment video of the GITAI S1 robot conducting an ISA task (recorded in the GITAI Tokyo office)

Through this technical demonstration, GITAI will acquire the technology, know-how, and experience necessary to develop a robot that can conduct versatile tasks in space. All this will be applied to future development of robots working in the harsh space environment that can carry out docking, repair, and maintenance tasks for On-Orbit Servicing (OOS), and conduct various tasks for lunar exploration and lunar base construction.


■NASA Safety Review
For this technical demonstration where it will be conducted inside the ISS and NASA is responsible for transportation and installing the S1 space robotic arm in the Bishop Airlock, GITAI and Nanoracks were required to pass a series of four NASA safety reviews (Phase 0 – 3). The GITAI robot was strictly assessed to check whether it was designed and manufactured to meet the NASA safety requirements.
On May 20, 2021, GITAI and Nanoracks succeeded in passing the final safety review (Phase 3), and received official authorization by NASA to launch to the ISS.


Launch of the GITAI Robot to the ISS
The flight model (FM) of GITAI’s S1 space robotic arm has already been handed over to NASA and all launch preparations are complete. The GITAI S1 will be transported to the ISS by SpaceX-23 (Dragon cargo resupply mission CRS-23) currently scheduled to launch on August 18, 2021 (launch date and time subject to change).


GITAI’s Mission

GITAI is a space robotics startup that aims to provide an inexpensive and safe means of working in space.
In 2040, GITAI will be an equal partner with the world’s leading space launch companies, providing inexpensive and safe labor to build cities on the Moon and Mars, and space colonies.
They provide the transportation; we provide the work.
They lower the cost of transportation; we lower the cost of work.


■About GITAI
GITAI is developing a general-purpose work robot for space use that can perform the following tasks inexpensively and safely.
1) Docking, mission extension, repair, and maintenance work for on-orbit servicing (life extension to satellite / space debris removal)
2) Various tasks for lunar exploration and lunar base construction

Company: GITAI Japan, Inc. (Japan HQ) / GITAI USA Inc. (US subsidiary)
CEO: Mr. Sho Nakanose
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