Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
Draper‘s nearly 50-year relationship with NASA’s human space program includes design of the Apollo guidance computer and multiple guidance, navigation and control, and rendezvous and docking contributions to the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) programs. Now we are transitioning this expertise and experience to assist the commercial space transportation services that are in line to fulfill many of the future logistics needs of the ISS through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program.
Draper is supporting the Orbital Sciences Corporation development of the Cygnus vehicle, which is one of two NASA-initiated Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) partnerships. We are supplying Cygnus with guidance, navigation, and targeting (GN&T) software, the fault-tolerant computer network element (NE), and system services software (FTSS). The GN&T software performs rendezvous, berthing and disembarking, and proximity operations between Cygnus and the ISS. The NE and FTSS, derived from the Draper-developed fault-tolerant parallel processor design implemented for NASA’s X-38 and Ares-1 programs, handles the cross-channel data communication, data-exchange, voting, and redundancy management for Cygnus’ human-rated computer system.