Skip to comments.NASA Plans To Refuel Mock Satellite at the Space Station
Posted on 04/07/2010 9:29:12 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The technology and tools already exist to allow people and robots to repair and refuel satellites in orbit. What is lacking is the recognition of that capability by senior government officials and a business model to enable commercial companies to profit from the enterprise, according to government and industry officials attending a workshop March 24-26 sponsored by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and held at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Md.
Its pretty clear, said Frank Cepollina, NASA deputy associate director in the space service capabilities office at NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, Md. The time for study is over. We have now got to move forward.
The workshop was one step in a space agency campaign to demonstrate that a wide range of satellite repair, refueling and maintenance activities can be performed by human and robotic missions. NASA is conducting a study to determine the feasibility and cost of in-orbit satellite servicing. The results of that study are scheduled to be delivered to Congress in September, said Cepollina, NASAs lead engineer for Hubble Space Telescope repair missions.
NASAs long-term goal is to prove that satellites can be serviced in orbit, conduct a pathfinder mission to prove the concept and then transfer the technology to the commercial sector, Cepollina said.
NASA plans to demonstrate in-orbit satellite refueling at the international space station with the help of Dextre, the two-armed Canadian robot. In an experiment scheduled to be conducted in the next six to 12 months, Dextre will be equipped with special tools on the end of its arms to cut through a satellites exterior, insulation and wiring, hook up a hose and pump hydrazine into the satellite.
(Excerpt) Read more at spacenews.com ...
As long as we can depend on Russia to give us a ride up. We will be paying the Russians the equivalent of what it cost to launch the space shuttle just to take two passengers to the space station. Maybe be can get frequent flier miles. And what will obumber say when Americans die on a Russian rocket?
I can only conclude from this that you have no idea what it costs to launch the space shuttle.
Granted, I’ve been out of the industry for a decade. But at the time I worked on the exterior tanks, a launch cost NASA about $100M. Russia will be charging $54M per passenger as reported to day. I realize I’m not very good at math, being an engineer and all, but I think I did the addition right.
What is NASA? Is it like CAIR?/s
That was close to (but a little low) the marginal cost back then. The average cost was more like half a million. Now, due to the very low flight rate, it's close to a billion. If you're an engineer, I assume you understand the difference between marginal and average cost?
What could possibly go wrong?
Sounds like something this guy would do for fun. ;)
But they have to watch out for DeeDee.
and then it will fix the wires, insulation and exterior??
Dextre? Obviously a French-speaking serial-killer robot! We need to close the killer-robot gap! To keep the godless Canadian hordes from stealing our precious bodily fluids!!!
That was the marginal cost (the cost of launching one more flight per year, given that you were launching at all). The appropriate cost to use for comparing it to other options is the average cost (total annual costs divided by number of flights). For the last few years, this has been almost a billion dollars per flight, due to the low flight rate.