The robot built at the center of NASA’s ambitious $1.6 billion space station mission, which is set to reach its final destination by 2021, has been a major challenge in making it work.
Now, the U.S. space agency says that the robot will soon be ready for the flight to the space station, but only if it can stay alive long enough to get there.
“This is a real challenge.
It’s not a toy,” said the deputy administrator of NASA, Robert Lightfoot, during a teleconference with reporters on Monday.
“It’s going to take time, and it’s going, to get this thing ready to fly.”
That’s the conclusion Lightfoot arrived at during a briefing with reporters in Washington on Monday afternoon, after he and other senior NASA officials said the robot, dubbed Project Kites, would be ready to take its first flight in 2021.
Lightfoot said that the goal of the mission was to put a robot on the space surface by 2020.
But the first test flight was delayed from last year, when the robotic capsule was launched into space by SpaceX and the Japanese space agency, and when the spacecraft was delayed again by a lack of space station supplies.
The delay in getting the Kites on the surface was not a problem Lightfoot noted, noting that the project was built to test new technologies, such as a communications system, and that the team did its best to keep the Kite on the ground.
“We’ve been doing the best we can to get the robot there,” Lightfoot told reporters.
“But that’s not good enough.
The thing has to be ready, and we’re going to have to do that.”
The space agency has been working on the project for nearly a year, according to NASA.
It has been in development for about a year and a half, with the first flight planned for last year.
The plan was to launch the Kinesis robot from a rocket in California on May 25, 2020, and bring it into space on March 16, 2021.
The first launch was postponed for technical reasons.
And then, after a delay of several months, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 14.
The vehicle landed safely on the pad, and then the Kasesis robot landed safely in its berth on the station.
“It’s not just a toy, it’s a very real tool,” said Lightfoot.
“You can get to that place, and you can get into it.”
The Kites will also be the first time a manned spacecraft has landed on the planet’s surface.
“If we get a chance to actually go in the future, we’re not going to do it,” said lightfoot.NASA officials said that, if everything goes according to plan, the Kies will go on to make it to the International Space Station, which Lightfoot also promised to do by 2021.
“The Kiosks are a first step on the way to getting humans to the station,” said a NASA official.
“We want to make sure that the robots and the robots are ready.”
The robot will make its way through several tests before it’s ready for launch, and the first of those will be in January 2021, the officials said.
The test flight will then be delayed until 2021.