Space robot to practice refueling satellites


 

(Reuters) – With the end of the space shuttle program in sight, the U.S. government intends to stimulate development of private space transportation and also to lay the foundation for an entire new industry to service satellites in orbit.

The International Space Station is photographed by a crew member onboard the space shuttle Atlantis as the two spacecraft performed rendezvous and docking operations in this photo provided by NASA and taken July 10, 2011. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

The Robotic Refueling Mission flying aboard the space shuttle Atlantis will use the International Space Station’s Dextre robot to test tools for refueling and repairing existing satellites, none of which were designed with reuse in mind.

“I’ve likened it to a Fisher-Price play toy for a robot, and I don’t mean that in a negative sense,” Atlantis commander Chris Ferguson said in a preflight interview.

Via�National Space Society Group News | LinkedIn.

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