Airbus Defence and Space wanted to launch a satellite servicer shortly after Northrop Grumman launched MEV-1, but backed away from those plans two years ago because of uncertainty about the commercial market.
With the first commercial satellite servicing spacecraft about to launch, industry executives argue that government agencies, primarily seen as developers of key servicing technologies, also need to be customers of those systems.
A startup company that plans to develop tankers for refueling satellites has completed a key test of its technology on the International Space Station.
Tethers Unlimited is designing a satellite servicing vehicle that would leverage technologies developed for the U.S. Defense Department and NASA to service spacecraft in low Earth orbit.
Astroscale, the Japanese company developing technologies to remove orbital debris, announced April 10 that it has raised an additional $30 million and will open an office in the United States that the company hopes will lead to new business opportunities.
Roberto Provera, Thales Alenia Space’s director of human spaceflight and transportation programs, said the company envisions having a servicing business by 2024 or 2025, and is currently in concept development.
Maxar's exit has a silver lining: DARPA can and should repurpose the RSGS program to defined U.S. military satellites against attacks from supposedly peaceful Chinese and Russian robotic spacecraft.
A satellite-deorbiting program the European Space Agency that’s been struggling to gain traction with its member states and industry has been redesigned to be more appealing.
Effective Space, a startup developing a satellite servicing system, announced Sept. 11 an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to provide technical and financial support.
The need to use these spacecraft also as bodyguards is the strongest reason to rescind the Senate's proposed budget cut for launching our first robotic servicing spacecraft. Any delay in its launch would greatly increase the chance of a space Pearl Harbor.
A startup company planning to develop orbital propellant depots to assist satellite servicing ventures has raised an initial round of funding to support a first launch as soon as next year.
Intelsat-901, a 17-year-old communications satellite running low on propellant, is awaiting a first-of-its-kind service call from a robotic spacecraft carrying a fresh tank of fuel.
SSL is investing in on-orbit servicing because “mission extension is a game changer,” said Michael Gabor, advanced programs director for SSL Government Systems.
Orbital ATK subsidiary SpaceLogistics plans to offer customers a wide range of products and services, beginning with its Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) and progressing to in-orbit spacecraft assembly, repair and cis-lunar transportation.
Satellite owners, satellite manufacturers, NASA and DARPA are planning a series of demonstrations to prove spacecraft can be repaired or refueled in orbit without the type of ambitious and expensive effort NASA devoted to servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.