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NASA: Teaming Up to Test the Future of Satellite Refueling

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Published on Mar 5, 2014

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Kennedy Space Center in Florida joined teams and efforts to test new robotic refueling technologies that could help satellites live longer in space. During the test, a robotic arm with a highly specialized tool transfered satellite oxidizer — an extremely corrosive fluid that helps propel satellites in orbit — through the valve of a simulated spacecraft. Adding to the complexity, the test was operated remotely from Goddard while performed at Kennedy’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The test simulated the refueling of a spacecraft in orbit, an extremely challenging task that the team has been tackling since they launched the successful Robotic Refueling Mission demonstration to the International Space Station in 2011.