Comprised of the same team that conducted the five successful servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO) was established in 2009 to continue NASA's 30-year legacy of satellite servicing and repair.
Satellite servicing capabilities stretch from on-orbit spacecraft refueling and repair, to the assembly of large structures in orbit, to modular designs that allow for spacecraft upgradability. These are capabilities that offer mission operators options for extended mission operations, upgradability, reconfiguration, and recovery.
A robust technology development campaign conducted on-orbit, in the air and on the ground is testing and demonstrating SSCO's technology portfolio. Notable highlights and milestones include:
International Space Station experiment demonstrating robotic technologies, tools and techniques for on-orbit satellite servicing
2011 - ongoing
A multi-Center, remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer hazardous and corrosive satellite oxidizer into the propellant tanks of spacecraft in space today.
2014, with technology development ongoing
International Space Station demonstration of a real-time relative navigation system that would enable future spacecraft to autonomously rendezvous with both prepared vehicles and those not designed for servicing.
2016 Raven launch
Gathering together the principal and potential stakeholders of the growing satellite servicing community.
Suggested features that could be incorporated into new satellites to facilitate servicing in the future.
2012 - ongoing
Examining the parameters of robotic satellite servicing and the technologies needed to achieve them.
2009 - ongoing