The Robotic Refueling Mission, or RRM, investigation (center, on platform) uses the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 and the Canadian Dextre robot (right) to demonstrate satellite-servicing tasks. (Credit: NASA/CSA)

This artist’s concept shows a servicing spacecraft, left, approaching a client satellite. NASA is developing technology needed to bring a high-technology “gas pump, robotic mechanic and tow truck” to satellites in orbit. (Credit: NASA)

Robotic Refueling Mission Proves Concept

Posted by Doug Messier on February 14, 2013, at 6:36 am

By Adrienne Alessandro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Following six historic days of operations aboard the International Space Station, NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission, or RRM, demonstrated remotely controlled robots using current-day technology could refuel satellites not designed to be serviced.

RRM tests from January 14-25 culminated in a first-of-its-kind robotic fluid transfer, a demonstration that could be a catalyst to expanded robotic satellite-servicing capabilities and lead to a greener, more sustainable space. NASA also hopes that RRM technologies may help boost the commercial satellite-servicing industry.

“RRM gives NASA and the emerging commercial satellite servicing industry the confidence to robotically refuel, repair and maintain satellites in both near and distant orbits — well beyond the reach of where humans can go today,” said Frank Cepollina, associate director of the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, or SSCO at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Read more: Robotic Refueling Mission Proves Concept | Parabolic Arc.

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