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NASA has awarded Space Systems/Loral a contract for building Restore-L, a robot refueling mission designed by the Goddard Space Flight Center team that ran the Hubble shuttle repair missions as well as the recent robotic demo repair tests on ISS.
The brains behind this mission is 80-year-old Frank Cepollina, who headed those Hubble shuttle missions and has been pushing for satellite repair since the 1980s. He is still going strong. As he said to me during one of my interviews for several articles I have written about him, “One of the things that’s driven me is this concept of stretching your capital assets for as long as you can to get every dollar of return you can possible get from it. The American taxpayers have paid for those assets. We should use them.”
If only we had more such Americans working in the federal government.