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Rhea Space Activity Secures Grant to Fly Autonomous Satellite Navigation Systems

NASA TechFlights funding

Rhea Space Activity Secures Grant to Fly Autonomous Satellite Navigation Systems

Rhea Space Activity has announced a $750,000 grant under NASA’s TechFlights solicitation to test two autonomous navigation systems in cislunar space.

The Jervis Autonomy Modules will fly on two separate communications satellites in lunar orbit designed to communicate with the ispace technologies U.S.-developed APEX 1.0 lunar lander, RSA said Wednesday.

JAM is intended to enable a spacecraft to figure out its position using celestial object imagery instead of coordinating with ground stations or other satellites. The technology could serve as an alternative navigation solution to NASA’s Deep Space Network, which RSA CEO Shawn Usman described as a “huge financial barrier-to-entry.”

According to Usman, JAM could reduce deep space mission costs and increase reliability. He added that the upcoming demonstration could have implications for lunar intelligence.

The planned test flight is part of Commercial Lunar Payload Services, a Draper-led mission to send NASA CP-12 science payloads to the moon’s far side.

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Category: Space

Tags: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Jervis Autonomy Module NASA Rhea Space Activity Shawn Usman space TechFlights