ISAM 101

What is ISAM?

ISAM stands for In-space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing and is a suite of technological capabilities for use in Earth orbit, cislunar space, deep space, and on the surface of celestial bodies.


In-space servicing involves two or more spacecraft engaging in activities that require rendezvous and proximity operations and in some instances docking. Servicer spacecraft interact with client spacecraft to perform a variety of activities, including but not limited to: refueling, component changeout, upgrade and repair, orbit modification and maintenance, software transfer, and inspection.


In-space assembly involves the construction of physical systems in space using pre-manufactured materials. The conjoining of materials to create a larger structure in space requires capabilities and technologies used for in-space servicing, such as robotic arms.


In-space manufacturing involves the creation of objects and structures in space through the use of raw materials. In-space manufacturing techniques such as additive manufacturing produce objects and structures for use both in-space and on the surface of celestial bodies.

Learn more about ISAM


White House/OSTP

National ISAM Implementation Plan, December 2022. Link to WH/OSTP


NASA’s Exploration & In-space Services (NExIS) program: Link

NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate: EXPLORE: In-space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) and Rendezvous, Proximity Operations and Capture (RPOC). August 2023.

NASA ISAM State of Play surveys ISAM capabilities across industry and government agencies: Link

Astronauts, Robots and the History of Fixing and Building Things in Space: Link


DOD Commercial Space Integration Strategy: Link to


RAND report on ISAM drivers, challenges, policy implications: Link

Aerospace CSPS report: Game Changer: In-Space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing for the New Space: Aerospace CSPS

Institute for Defense Analysis STPI report on global trends in ISAM: Link

Space Foundation report on On Orbit Servicing policy: Link