SpaceX Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral, Florida On December 4, 2019

SpaceX Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral, Florida On December 4, 2019

Basically, this "hotel" or more like a glorified garage for space robots.

The RiTS docking station will be launched aboard a Falcon-9 rocket as a part of SpaceX's 19th resupply mission, CRS-19. Following the launch, SpaceX hopes to recover the Falcon 9 to reuse for future missions. Its first residents will be two Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL). The leak detectors have mass spectrometers that can find leaks from the space station, NASA officials said.

"The objective is to protect sensitive tools and make them more accessible and easier to use", Mark Neuman, RiTS project manager for Northrop Grumman.

The housing unit's thermal system maintains ideal temperatures for the instruments, helping them stay functional, according to Neuman.

The tool stowage assembly was developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in partnership with NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

In space, storage is especially important.

More news: Ukraine President Denies Quid Pro Quo With Donald Trump

It will be the first trip to space by a Starliner.

Deploying detection robots usually takes much longer when the tool is not externally stored.

Moreover, it'll be a faster and easier process as the station's Dextre robotic arm will be able to retrieve them and put them to work more quickly as they'll already be outside.

NASA astronauts have been riding Russian rockets to the space station, for tens of millions of dollars per seat, while awaiting the repeatedly delayed commercial crew vehicles. International Space Station Program Manager Kenny Todd says "Santa's sleigh is certified for the vacuum of space".

However, over its lifetime, the space station has accumulated occasional small ammonia leaks at its joints, often as a result of micrometeroids.

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