OrbitalATK intend to start with a space tug then evolve it add servicing and refuelling capabilities to it. The space tug will latch onto satellite engine bell and take over all propulsion jobs. Have signed customers for 2019-2020 launch.See OA thread for more info.
Also, then again, they don't need a "tug" with an engine. Just some station keeping thrusters.
Quote from: TakeOff on 01/18/2017 06:54 amWhy refuel satellites? Why not let the "Restore-L" instead tug the satellite with its own engine? It should be much easier and safer and one doesn't need to care about what fuel type the satellite originally had.Because a "tug" isn't needed. No "engine" is need. The propellant is for attitude control. Attaching another spacecraft is not that simple. The mass properties of the stack is different. The attached spacecraft would interfere with look angles of sensors and instruments. It would require sending commands to two spacecraft to point and take data.
Why refuel satellites? Why not let the "Restore-L" instead tug the satellite with its own engine? It should be much easier and safer and one doesn't need to care about what fuel type the satellite originally had.
Hubble is pointed with reaction wheels and was boosted to higher altitude by the space shuttle. Wouldn't that be applicable to many satellites in LEO, but with a small tug in place of the shuttle? During satellite operations the tug could be undocked and at standby nearby until next orbital correction is needed, or go off to another servicing mission.
What about designing satellites such that its fuel tank with thrusters is replaceable? When it is getting empty, it is undocked and discarded while a tug brings a new identical fuel tank with thrusters to replace it. No need then to transfer fuel in microgravity.
Talking of JWST, guy from Restore L fiso webcast is trying to convince JWST team to paint a pattern on JWST which makes capturing it easier. JWST is not serviceable but that doesn't stop a tug attaching its self and taking over propulsion. Could even bring it back to cis lunar station for investigation if not repair.
It is, however, optional. It just makes machine vision easier. But could be done without it.
(Snip)Hubble should have resided at L2 like JWST and SIRTF for science(snip)
NASA’s satellite servicing technology development and demonstration mission, Restore-L, passed a milestone today, successfully clearing Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The Trump Administration wants to downscale the program significantly however, and while the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have rallied to its defense, only one approved the money needed to keep it on course....
NASA is one step closer to robotically refueling a satellite and demonstrating in-space assembly and manufacturing thanks to the completion of an important milestone.In April 2021, NASA and Maxar Technologies successfully completed the On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) mission spacecraft accommodation Critical Design Review (CDR). This milestone demonstrates that the maturity of the design for the OSAM-1 spacecraft bus is appropriate to support proceeding with fabrication, assembly, integration, and testing.OSAM-1 will, for the first time ever, robotically refuel a U.S. government satellite not designed to be serviced. The spacecraft will consist of a servicing payload, provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, with two robotic arms that will be attached to the spacecraft bus. The bus will also incorporate a payload called Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER) that will demonstrate in-space assembly and manufacturing. SPIDER will use a third robotic arm to assemble a communications antenna and an element called MakerSat built by Tethers Unlimited to manufacture a beam. The spacecraft bus and SPIDER are being built by Maxar Technologies.This image, taken by Maxar in their Palo Alto, California, facility, features the OSAM-1 spacecraft bus under development. The 14-foot-tall bus will provide OSAM-1 with power and the ability to maneuver in orbit. To make these maneuvers possible, inside the main cylinder are two large bi-propellant tanks, and the upper and lower deck of the spacecraft feature thrusters. The two silver spheres are filled with mono-propellant fuel that will be used to provide OSAM-1’s target client satellite, Landsat 7, with more fuel to demonstrate that robotically refueling a satellite is possible.Upon completion of the OSAM-1 spacecraft bus and related testing at Maxar’s facilities in mid-2022, it will be sent to Goddard. NASA will complete the integration and testing of the OSAM-1 components, including the spacecraft bus, servicing payload, and SPIDER, in preparation for launch.OSAM-1 is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate through its Technology Demonstration Missions program.
Recently, the @NASA’s On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) project management team visited @Maxar in California to view progress on the OSAM-1 spacecraft bus. Later this year, the spacecraft will journey to @NASAGoddard for final integration and testing.
On Sept. 20, 2023, the On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) spacecraft bus arrived at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, after its journey from a Maxar facility in California. Following this critical milestone, engineers at Goddard can begin to integrate the mission’s servicing payload onto the bus and begin to test the integrated spacecraft in simulated space environments.When integration and testing are complete, OSAM-1 will be ready to demonstrate robotic satellite servicing technologies in space. The OSAM-1 mission is planned to be the first to robotically refuel a spacecraft not designed for on-orbit servicing. The servicer will rendezvous with, grapple, and berth the government-owned Landsat 7 spacecraft, and then use a suite of tools to replenish its hydrazine fuel tank.In addition to the mission’s servicing objectives, OSAM-1 will also include an assembly demonstration provided by commercial partner Maxar, the same company that provided the spacecraft bus. That demonstration will use a robotic arm from the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER) payload to assemble a functional Ka-band antenna on orbit from stowed hexagonal pieces.Previously, the mission included a manufacturing demonstration called MakerSat, which planned to use the SPIDER arm to manufacture a beam. However, that component of the mission has been descoped as mission managers refocus resources on the servicing and assembly components of the mission.