The German government remains committed to research on in-orbit servicing to extend the lives of satellites or perform other orbital maneuvers using Germany’s robotics expertise, the German state secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology said July 19.

Addressing the Cospar conference, Jochen Homan said in-orbit servicing remains a promising line of research.

The German space agency, DLR, for years has been studying ways to refuel satellites in orbit using a rendezvous and docking technique that would extend satellites’ service lives. To date no viable mission has been found, but the research continues.

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews.