Monday, 20 Jun, 2011 Technology

Robotic Gas Station to Be Used to Refuel Spaceships on Orbit


NASA has plans to launch a robotic gas station that will be used to refuel spaceships en route. The agency is expected to launch the robotic gas station together with its last shuttle Atlantis. The take off is expected to take place on July 8.

It is worth mentioning that in case the experiment turns out to be a success, it could change the entire model of satellite design. This is because all satellites carry fuel on board and as soon as the fuel is over satellites have to be refilled in order to continue their mission.

With the launch of the robotic gas station, researchers will be able to considerably increase the operational life of satellites and their services.

The robotic gas station is part of the Robotic Refueling Mission which was designed and developed by specialists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

During the mission, all the necessary components, hardware and equipment of gas station will be transmitted to the International Space Station. This is going to be joined to Atlantis as an external shelf and launched before the end of the 30-year-old orbiter program.

Researchers will give commands to remote-controlled machines for refueling spaceships in orbit. It would be interesting to note that the first robot worker at the robotic gas station is Canadian Dextre Robot. The machine will refuel satellites that were not designed for the task.

In case the experiment with Dextre is successful then an actual satellite is expected to be refueled by May 2013, reports Azorobotics.

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