A brand new stage within the historical past of satellites begins: that of the restore and enchancment of their features in full operation.

The satellites have modified our lives in simply over 50 years, however on the similar time have stuffed Earth’s orbit with area junk. The reason being that they’re very inefficient.

Most satellites have a really brief lifespan. They do a perform, and all of a sudden, they cease working. Many individuals suppose that satellites use photo voltaic power, however they don’t. Lots of them use propellant fuel to keep up path or flip at sure occasions. And when the satellite tv for pc is completed it stops working, even whether it is in excellent situation.

This isn’t solely an environmental downside, but in addition an financial one. Satellites price tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}, not just for the development however for the launch of the rocket for the launch into orbit, and a lot of them should be deserted in only one yr.

That’s the reason the aerospace firm Northrop Grumman, in a information that reaches us by way of New Atlas, has been engaged on the MEV-2 o Mission Extension Automobile, a robotic that docks itself to the satellites in movement, at greater than 11,000 km / h and 36,000 kilometers excessive, to increase its helpful life.

On April 12, MEV-2 landed on the industrial satellite tv for pc Intelsat 10-02 (IS-10-02), to increase its helpful life by 5 years.

The satellite tv for pc can not transfer by itself, so what this robotic goes to do for five years is, actually, deal with the motion of the satellite tv for pc, in order that it could possibly proceed to hold out its mission. After that point it should undock, and assist one other satellite tv for pc Exhausted.

Right here we are able to see the Intelsat satellite tv for pc picture taken by the MEV-2 robotic simply earlier than docking, with the Earth within the background:

Northrop Grumman is already engaged on new generations of extra subtle MEV robots, in collaboration with DARPA, the North American authorities company that invented the Web.

These new robots won’t solely be capable to management the satellite tv for pc. They may even be capable to make repairs and even add new options. They are going to set up what they name the Mission Extension Pod, packages that when related to the satellite tv for pc add a brand new battery, extra gas, or no matter is required.

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The flexibility to restore and improve satellites with out having to launch new ones will assist cut back area particles and rationalize the usage of this know-how.


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