NASA tests robotic refuelling to extend satellite missions

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Kennedy Space Center have tested new robotic refuelling technologies that could help satellites operate longer in space.

During the test, a robotic arm fitted with a highly specialised tool transferred satellite oxidiser through the valve of a simulated spacecraft.

The test was operated remotely from Goddard and performed at Kennedy’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.

The test simulated the refuelling of a spacecraft in orbit, a task tackled by the team since the launch of the Robotic Refuelling Mission demonstration to the International Space Station in 2011.