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New Partners Show Interest In DARPA’s Program For Space Robot

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently looking through many proposals to find the best capable partners to begin their latest venture of sending a robot to space so that it can fix satellites. DARPA had to face huge issue back in January just after Maxar left the project suddenly which dealt with Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS). The organization, after long has decided to give others a fair chance.

RSGS program manager, Joe Parrish informed that many of the new players are keen to work alongside DARPA. He also said that it is fascinating to see so many interested to enter into the endeavor. After the sudden exit of Maxar, DARPA went on with their search to find some other organization to collaborate the program with. RSGS began in 2016. It was a public-private grouping arrangement in which DARPA gave a satellite-servicing robot. Besides, a commercial partner came forward with funding to help in building the satellite and form a servicing vehicle on-orbit. Maxar was then chosen in 2017 but they soon took their steps back indicating financial issues to be their concern for discontinuing.

DARPA then invited contractors who were interested to present a brief during May and asked for new proposals to be made ready by July 23rd. The organization might be able to choose another partner before 2019 ends. Parrish said that DARPA doesn’t want Maxar incident to get repeated by any other company and therefore they want the bits to be solid. He also said that DARPA has no obligation to make any selection. If they find any contenders that have enough potential, then only negotiation terms would be talked about. DARPA wants to have a contractual partner before this year ends. Parrish said that the program structure remains intact with few alterations in the evaluation criteria.

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