NASA (Satellite Servicing)
NBC interview on NASA's satellite refueling project.
Mikrolar Helps NASA Simulate Refueling Satellites
With the low count of a mere two satellites in space that were actually designed to be serviced, something as simple as fuel has consistently brought these expensive tools to an early retirement. Considering the fact that somewhere around 1,800 operating satellites are in orbit, this has obviously become a major problem for the industry. Mikrolar's R2000 Rotopod (legacy of the now R3000 Rotopod) and P8000 Hexapod equipped with a rotary axis have helped NASA simulate and develop a process for refueling. Our systems allow researchers to simulate micro gravity conditions, and the effects of applied forces. This project includes all satellites, even those that were not originally designed to be serviced.
Satellites have become a part of every day life. They are being utilized by NASA, the United States, and the commercial industry to name a few. Yet, when millions of dollars are involved to manufacture and launch; decommissioning one due to a lack of fuel (or any other simple maintenance issue encountered) is quite the waste. This research and testing marks the beginning of a satellite servicing industry that will make spaceflight more sustainable, affordable, and resilient in the future.
If you would like to find more information and media, check out some of these posts from NASA about their Mikrolar P8000 Hexapod:
R2000 with an Asteriod Mockup.
P8000 Tests Satellite Servicing.
NASA's Satellite Servicing Facility.