This robotic arm, moving along a 33-m-long track, forms ESA's GNC Rendezvous, Approach and Landing Simulator, used to simulate close approach to targets such as drifting satellites or asteroids.
GRALS is part of the Agency's Orbital Robotics and Guidance, Navigation and Control Laboratory. It was recently used to try out a new GNC testbed system for improved high-fidelity testing of navigation cameras, processors and other hardware, developed with ASTOS Solutions GmbH in Germany, supported through ESA’s General Support Technology Programme.
This month, ESA is celebrating the UN-recognised Asteroid Day, to inspire the world about asteroids and their role in the formation of our solar system, how we can use their resources, how asteroids can pave the way for future exploration and how we can protect our planet from asteroid impacts. More information, and a month of programming, via asteroidday.org