Product/Service - Droid
- In-Space Transportation
- Active Debris Removal (ADR)
Resources - Asteroid Mining
Space Situational Awareness (SSA)
- In-Space Satellite Servicing
- First launch
Our spacecraft will rendezvous and dock with current satellites and large debris objects using vision sensors and robotic arms. Utilizing the onboard propulsion system, the spacecraft will either deorbit or change the orbit of the debris object or satellite. Our team has a proven track record of bringing ideas to orbit with over 25 years of experience from SpaceX, Skunk Works, and Electroimpact. Solving this problem is crucial to ensure a sustainable space economy, and is the first step towards our longer term vision of mining Asteroids.
Starting in early 2023, we'll begin offering inspection services from a distance during flyby encounters. As part of HEO-Robotics network of satellites, gain valuable insights for your commercial or defense applications. Reach out to us directly or visit HEO's customer portal now.
When not performing other mission objectives, our DROID vehicles will be be passively acquiring data and constantly updating our SSA data catalog. Reach out now to learn more about which data types will be available in late 2023.
Up close inspection, orbit relocation, and deorbiting are services that will become commonplace this decade. Our DROIDs will be taskable from their home orbits to inspect, relocate, or deorbit your asset. Reach out to learn more about the offerings we plan to make available in 2024.
Meet the Droid family…
- Droid-1 will launch ~2022. The goal is to reach a stable orbit, send over-the-air software updates, and test equipment. The subscale demo craft won’t have a docking mechanism.
- Droid-2, targeted for 2023, will be more functional. Turion plans to use Droid-2’s robo-arm to dock with Droid-1, deorbit, and demonstrate a fully functioning debris removal mechanism. Dogfooding in space!
- Droid-3, slated for 2024, will have a proprietary thruster and other bells and whistles. Turion plans to build and launch a batch of Droid-3s.
The sauce recipe: Droid-1 will have sensing payloads that Turion aims to rent out for space-to-space use cases (like situational awareness). After taking out the Droid-1 trash, Droid-2 will also be open for business. The Droid-3 generation is when volume production (relatively speaking) and scaled-up commercial services come into play.
First principles: Turion is optimizing for “Delta-V per dollar spent” on Droid design/development. Whether a Droid is deorbiting a dead satellite or shuttling a spent upper stage, all engineering and financial roads lead back to the Delta-V/$ metric, Westerdahl said.
- Turion plans to charge based on how much propellant is used for a job. Interested parties can input a space asset, select a service, and get a theoretical quote on Turion’s dashboard.
- Westerdahl places an emphasis on transparent, upfront pricing, taking a page from SpaceX, his former employer.
US company Turion Space, aiming to build spacecraft to remove orbital-debris, satellite servicing, and domain awareness, has selected NanoAvionics small satellite bus, the MP42, as the basis for its ‘Droid-1’ spacecraft designed for a reconnaissance mission in low Earth orbit (LEO). The launch of the Droid-1 satellite is planned for the first quarter of 2023.
California startup Turion Space said in August 2022 that it has secured U.S. regulatory approval to sell space situational awareness (SSA) services from its first satellite next year. SpaceX is slated to fly the venture’s Droid.001 satellite May 2023 on a Falcon 9 rideshare mission, Turion Space CEO Ryan Westerdahl said in an interview.
- Lithuania-based NanoAvionics built the bus for the satellite, which will provide imagery for Australian in-orbit inspection startup HEO Robotics, Turion Space’s first customer.
- Droid.001’s primary mission, however, is to test imagery capabilities that Westerdahl declined to specify for an SSA business he sees as a stepping stone toward more direct in-orbit services.
After deploying three to four more SSA-focused Droids by around mid-2024, he said the startup plans to test a vision system for autonomous rendezvous operations with one of its spacecraft already in low Earth orbit.
Westerdahl ultimately envisions a constellation of Droids that can be tasked to provide services as needed. When that mission is over, they would return to their “home orbit” to track objects in space until they are called upon again.
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