Orbit Fab uses the Impulse Space satellite as a space fuel depot

The companies Orbit Fab and Impulse Space have announced the signing of a cooperation agreement. As part of it, they will conduct an experiment to refuel an American military satellite.

The Impulse Space spacecraft with a fuel depot installed on it. Source: Orbit Fab

Orbit Fab was founded in 2018. The main goal of the enterprise is to create a network of space tankers and refueling vehicles that deliver fuel to the satellites of the customer companies. During its activity, Orbit Fab has launched a small demonstrator into a sun-synchronous orbit, designed to test the technology of a long-term fuel depot. Also, the company’s engineers have developed a universal refueling port RAFTI (Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface).

At the next stage, Orbit Fab will perform a real orbital refueling. This experiment will involve three Tetra-5 microsatellites, currently being built by Orion Space Solutions for the US Space Forces (the contract value was USD 50 million). They will be equipped with a RAFTI port, which will allow them to perform space refueling. The spacecraft will be put into geostationary orbit.

To refuel the satellites, Orbit Fab will also need a tanker. Impulse Space has agreed to take over its creation. To solve this problem, it plans to use the Mira vehicle, which will be equipped with a fuel depot designed for 50 kg of hydrazine.

At the moment, the refueling experiment is scheduled for 2025. In the future, Orbit Fab plans to provide this service on a regular basis for its customers. According to the company’s website, refueling a geostationary satellite with 100 kg of hydrazine will cost its customers USD 20 million.

According to https://spacenews.com

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