STATES CHRONICLE – NASA has developed a plan to build a new satellite programmed to repair and refuel other satellites from the orbit of our planet. The ambitious project represents a significant step forward, being on the verge of executing the work needed to attain their goal. This robotic spacecraft will be responsible for maintaining and repairing other satellites if needed.
On December 6th, NASA has released an announcement claiming that it managed to enable a contract with the satellite company Space Systems/Loral from California, Palo Alto which was estimated to cost approximately $127 million. The mission known as Restore-L is based on the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus and Support Services contract.
The new satellite will be developed during the next three years. NASA has stated that Space Systems/Loral was created to provide help in space, being able to offer services for the deployment, development, and operations of the Restore-L mission as well as critical hardware, being also used as a spaceship bus.
The new device will be bound to offer other needed services to fulfill mission operations, launch, test, and integration. NASA has stated earlier this year that the new Restore-L satellite will be ready to set off in 2020, their first goal being to refuel an old satellite which was situated in orbit for at least 17 years, known as Landsat 7.
Usually, satellites set off into the orbit detaining a finite quantity of fuel, meaning that their lifespan is limited, being restricted by the fuel. Nevertheless, if NASA will obtain satisfactory results when creating the new satellite, then any mission can be extended to longer periods, the new Restore-L being responsible for fueling other satellites.
Benjamin Reed, who is the deputy project manager for NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO), has declared last June that this new robotic service, the lifespan of any satellite can be expanded due to the help provided by the new device. The new spaceship will prolong and maintain the proper function of any satellite from the orbit.
If NASA’s scientists discover that a communications antenna of a satellite fails to work, then they can immediately send the new satellite with inspection cameras and appropriate tools to repair the damages avoiding data to become lost. Besides from extending satellites’ lifespan, this mission is also prone to determine more efficient and cost-effective launches. During future missions, satellites could set off with their tank only half full, knowing that there exists the possibility for them to be refueled whenever needed with the help of this new device.
Image source: pixabay