Data generated in the tests is shared with industry and other government agencies, most recently at a workshop that drew some 300 participants. There have already been commercial efforts to develop satellite-servicing spacecraft (AW&ST March 21, 2011, p. 23). Future use of the technology on the RRM and capabilities Goddard is developing for finding and grappling a spacecraft could include orbital-debris mitigation.
“The core technologies that we're developing now would be the core technologies required for, say, a spent rocket body,” Reed says. “That probably would be the first object that would be gone after if somebody were to go after active orbital-debris removal.”