Skypersonic, a subsidiary of Red Cat Holdings and a confined space drone technology provider, has received a five-year contract with NASA to supply drone and rover hardware, software and support for the agency’s Simulated Mars mission.
Red Cat said Monday Skypersonic’s Dronebox real-time transoceanic remote piloting platform will command the piloting of the drones and the rover commissioned in NASA’s series of analog missions, known as Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, which will simulate year-long stays on Mars.
Skypersonic CEO Giuseppe Santangelo said the company’s technology was chosen by the space agency to control its drones and rover in the simulated environment based on its functionality. He also welcomed the opportunity to participate in an initiative “that is the precursor to human operations on other planets.”
NASA’s crew members will utilize Skypersonic’s drone capabilities as they conduct simulated spacewalks from the agency’s 1,700 square-foot Mars Dune Alpha isolated habitat. The simulated missions are set to begin in the fall of 2022.
CEO of Red Cat, Jeff Thompson, said the company is honored to support NASA on the project, adding that he believes the Red Cat’s remote pilot capability is a “game changer in the drone industry.”
“Remote piloting changes the entire drone ecosystem by reducing the biggest cost of drone fleet programs, the one pilot to one drone ratio,” Thompson continued.