Outside NASA, there is significant interest in rendezvous and docking systems that do not require the target vehicle to be predesigned for the mission, cooperative, or even controlled at all. Applications of this sort include: -Space tugs for refueling or servicing existing space craft -"Uncooperative" rendezvous and docking efforts, which DoD is interested in -Debris capture for paid orbital debris removal services. -"Life-extension" services or "orbital rescue" services, where a satellite that has either lost control, or is near the end of its propellant reserves can have its life extended by a servicing satellite. -Other orbital servicing missions including ORU replacement -A docking system enabling high-tempo delivery of propellants to propellant depots using "dumb" propellant tankers -Simplification of the rendezvous/docking process for crew/cargo deliveries to orbital facilities.
In addition to the Mars Sample Return OSC retrieval mission, technology based on the Sticky Boom concept has applications in: -Any of the Flagship Technology Demonstrator missions which focus on autonomous rendezvous and docking -Propellant depots, as reliable docking will be key to mission success -Capture devices for active removal of orbital debris The electrostatic adhesion pad itself, once proven for use in the space environment also has other applications separate from boom rendezvous: -Robotic systems such as Robonaut which could benefit from more flexible means of movement on space stations rather than current rail bases systems -Gripping surfaces for boots and gloves to improve EVA safety and flexibility.