Competing visions emerge as mission extension services come to fruition

Advancements in robotics has opened up new opportunities in satellite servicing and mission extension. Companies Orbital ATK and SSL have both developed mission extension vehicles and services in hopes of tapping into the market. Michael Gabor, SSL’s advanced programs director, describes mission extension services as “a game changer.” “It’s going to revolutionize how we treat the space domain, more than any of these other things do,” he said at the

Operators see software-defined satellite future approaching

Flexible, re-configurable satellites have been seen as an elusive holy grail in the industry for years now, but the technology seems to be gaining traction finally among satellite manufacturers and operators for commercial use cases. “If you look at the world today, what’s making the world go round is software,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, Intelsat VP of satellite operations and engineering, speaking at the recent Space Tech Expo. “In the future,

On-orbit satellite maintenance ‘will change the space system paradigm’

NASA, DARPA, and others are developing technologies to support autonomous refueling and maintenance capabilities for satellites while they’re orbiting Earth, as part of a wider ambition to advance autonomous servicing capabilities that’ll enable a new era of infrastructure building in space. On-orbit satellite servicing will help extend the mission lives of satellites, but the technology that’s being developed to do so will help usher in a new era of space