Skip to comments.MDA Planning In-orbit Servicing Demo
Posted on 03/04/2010 11:27:23 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Canadas MDA Corp., which has a well-established record in space robotics, is designing a satellite-servicing demonstration to refuel spacecraft in orbit and, when necessary, to push dead satellites into graveyard orbits, an MDA official said March 3.
The company is prepared to finance the first mission at least in part on its own. MDA has signed an option with an unidentified satellite fleet operator that has agreed to provide an aging telecommunications spacecraft for a refueling operation as the inaugural customer, according to Logan Duffield, vice president for strategic business development of MDA Information Systems.
Richmond, British Columbia-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has long built robotic manipulator systems for the U.S. space shuttle and international space station.
In a presentation here to the World Space Risk Forum, Duffield said the company has spent some $3 billion over the years on robotics, with a quarter of that investment applicable to in-orbit servicing missions.
As explained by Duffield, the refueling vehicle would dock at the target satellites apogee-kick motor, peel off a section of the crafts thermal protection blanket, connect to a fuel-pressure line and deliver the propellant. MDA officials estimate the docking maneuver would take the communications satellite out of service for about 20 minutes
Well... At least Jerry Lewis spent my money on a good cause.
I think its a grteat idea.