The cost of putting humans into space to carry out on-orbit assembly tasks can severely limit satellite design and functionality, requiring costly engineering solutions (or no solution at all) to the challenge of fitting everything inside a payload fairing, and little to no on-orbit repair capability.

A key step towards building more complex vehicles and structures in space is mastering the art of robotic assembly in orbit, sidestepping a number of problems in design and construction. If this technology can be adapted and improved, it can have applications beyond satellites to stations, vehicles, and ultimately more ambitious projects like orbital factories and refineries.