Artist’s concept of Restore-L mission.
Credit: NASA

 

 

Satellites are tremendously isolated — once launched into orbit, they are left alone to do their work until they lose power or age into obsolescence. But what if satellites could be upgraded, refueled or repaired while in orbit?

The fourth report in The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) Game Changer series, On-Orbit Servicing: Inspection, Repair, Refuel, Upgrade, and Assembly of Satellites in Space, explores new on-orbit servicing (OOS) capabilities and what this ground-breaking technology could mean for the future of satellite operation, including the potential cost savings of hundreds of millions to salvage satellites and not replace them.

Credit: Altius Space Machines

 

 

 

Possible inhibitors

While the report acknowledges that there are several possible inhibitors to making on-orbit servicing common across the market, OOS is widely viewed as the most viable path forward for continuing to expand space activities beyond their present limitations. 

To read this report — On-Orbit Servicing: Inspection, Repair, Refuel, Upgrade, and Assembly of Satellites in Space – go to:

https://aerospace.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Davis-Mayberry-Penn_OOS_04242019.pdf

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