Orbital Express Capture Mechanism
This is an engineering model of the Orbital Express Capture Mechanism (OECM). In March 2007, the Air Force launched the Autonomous Space Transfer Robotic Orbiter (ASTRO), carrying an active element and the NEXSAT, which carried a passive element. The two spacecraft separated in space, and over the next three months the ASTRO rendezvoused with and captured the NEXTSAT several times using the OECM. During these captures, the ASTRO performed battery and propellant transfers and reinserted a spaceflight computer with its robotic arm. This was the first time ever a robotic spacecraft serviced another. The Starsys Division of Space Development Inc. made the OECM and Boeing donated it to NASM in 2009.
Gift of the Boeing Company.
- Country of Origin
- United States
- Starsys Division, Space Development Inc.
- SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Parts & Structural Components
- Metal and plastic; wood base
- Photographs of artifact in space attached to a separate posterboard
- Overall: 91.44 x 45.72cm (3ft x 1ft 6in.)