Robots to Refuel Satellites in Zero Gravity


Robots are used to working in extreme or dangerous conditions, but this is a new challenge — one which will cause engineers to rethink all the axioms they’ve come to associate with a standard environment. NASA is hoping to find a solution to the growing space clutter in our atmosphere by using a robot to refuel dying satellites. However, satellites were never designed to be refueled — making an already unique challenge even more difficult.

NASA Tests Robotic Gas Station Attendant for Outer Space
By Katharine Gammon

The agency’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office has identified 242 end-of-lifers destined to run out of gas in the next five to six years. The challenge is that, for now, before a satellite leaves the ground, technicians fill its fuel tank and seal it—for good. “No satellite in orbit was designed to be serviced, because no servicer exists,” says Ben Reed, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Head over to Wired to read the full article and watch the concept video. What sort of special considerations will the engineers have to take into account when designing a robot to work in zero gravity?

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One Response to Robots to Refuel Satellites in Zero Gravity

  1. […] Robots to Refuel Satellites in Zero Gravity Robots are used to working in extreme or dangerous conditions, but this is a new challenge — one which will cause engineers to rethink all the axioms they’ve come to associate with a standard environment. NASA is hoping to find a solution to the growing space clutter in our atmosphere by using a robot to […] […]

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