Redwire Luxembourg To Build Lunar Robotic Arm For ESA

Jaroslaw Jaworski, managing director of Redwire Space’s Luxembourg Facility (© Silicon Luxembourg).

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Redwire a contract to develop the first robotic arm prototype for its Argonaut Lunar Lander. Redwire Space Luxembourg will develop the arm which will support European missions in landing heavy cargo and infrastructure on the moon.

With capabilities such as offloading, precise positioning and retrieval of objects, the robotic arm, also known as The Manipulator for Argonaut Payload Needs and Unloading Support (MANUS) will be crucial to developing logistics operations on the moon. Redwire will develop and test the functions of MANUS and have the opportunity to compete for follow-on contracts.

“As a leader in robotic arm development and with a proven track record of delivering innovative solutions for ambitious space exploration missions, Redwire’s robotic capabilities are poised to play a crucial role in future European space missions, contributing to lunar exploration and paving the way for advancements in space exploration technology,” told Jaroslaw Jaworski managing director of Redwire Space’s Luxembourg facility. 

MANUS will be developed at Redwire’s Luxembourg facility, which currently develops Redwire’s STAARK robotic arm, a modular and easily customized robotic system designed for various on-orbit robotics applications.

“Redwire’s robotic capabilities are poised to play a crucial role in future European space missions”

Jaroslaw Jaworski managing director of Redwire Space’s Luxembourg facility

“We are very excited to be working with Redwire’s Luxembourg team on the development of a first scaled breadboard for a robotic arm for the Argonaut lander -currently referred to as MANUS. With challenging reference scenarios for three potential Argonaut missions to address and challenging user requirements to meet, it will be an interesting 18 months until the close-out of this activity,” said Dr. Gunter Just, ESA Robotics Engineer.

According to Mathias Link, deputy CEO of the LSA, Redwire’s new contract is a positive signal for Luxembourg’s space ecosystem and an important step in building on the country’s expertise in sustainable utilization of space resources. With Redwire’s growing portfolio of lunar infrastructure projects which includes its recent $12.9m Tipping Point NASA contract, Luxembourg certainly seems to be in an ideal position to play a leading role in the future of the lunar economy.

“After a period of incubation and technology development over last few years local space companies have managed to build competent teams and technical solutions that allow [Luxembourg] to compete globally and win against companies with dozens of years of space experience,” said Jaroslaw Jaworski managing director of Redwire Space Luxembourg. 

To Jaworski winning such contracts is a confirmation that the space investments made by the Luxembourg government in the past years were worth making.

Scaling Up For Space

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