NASA commissions spacecraft that can refuel satellites in orbit

NASA commissions spacecraft that can refuel satellites in orbit

U.S. space agency NASA on Tuesday commissioned a new sort of spacecraft that will refuel satellites and provide needed services while they are still in orbit around Earth.

Dubbed the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus, the robotic spacecraft is equipped with all the tools and technologies required to refuel and service satellites that are already in the orbit. The Restore-L Spacecraft Bus & Support Services contract has been awarded to Palo Alto, California-based
Space Systems/Loral.

The contract includes a 3-year core period and a 2-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity period. The total maximum value of the first of its kind contract is pegged at $127 million.

The Restore-L Project will be managed by the Space Technology Mission Directorate at Greenbelt, Maryland Goddard Space Flight Center within the space agency’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division.

The free-flying Restore-L mission to perform in-orbit satellite servicing on operational government assets in low-Earth orbit is projected to be launched in 2020.

Refueling and servicing of satellites in the orbit will enable them to operate for a lot longer period of time in space than they were originally supposed to.


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