NASA awards contract for satellite refueling mission

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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.



  • wayne

    Thanks Mr. Z!
    >I LIKE this guy!

    >>very nice backgrounder:
    Frank Cepollina “Maniac Lecture,”
    August 28, 2015

    “Frank Cepollina, 2003 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, presented a “Maniac” lecture entitled “Servicing and NASA.” Frank gave a rundown of his career in servicing spacecraft going back to 1970 and talked about the future of servicing and scientific missions working together in the future

  • wayne

    I’d be totally remiss, if I didn’t go slightly tangential & strongly shill for this nice video presentation:

    “The Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who Built It”
    Robert Zimmerman WGBH Forum

  • Wayne: This was the first time I gave this talk on Hubble, and to my mind I did a poor job. The talk was too long, and not as focused as it should be.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z–
    Everything needs an initial test-run.
    I consume a lot of this type of material, and it’s not “bad,” at all!

    Your C-Span BookTV segment, for the Apollo-8 book, was when I first put a name to a face.
    (come on folks– there’s only “83 views” on C-span for this gem. Let’s drive that up to 200 before the end of the day!)

    Totally tangential– are you aware you have an Internet Movie Data-Base page entry? (I swear, I have seen some of those movies before!)
    > It links to a website/address, that doesn’t exist anymore. Correct that, and Google will catch it on their next re-indexing & web-crawl. Could net you some more traffic.
    (Google & Bing, btw, confuse you with Bob Dylan & George Zimmerman.)

  • wayne

    IMDB page is here:
    (it links to a Bell Atlantic URL)

  • Wayne: The IMDB page entry was something Diane edited about a decade ago. We haven’t looked at it since. I should update it. Or you could, I think. In fact, if you can, it is better to have someone else do it.

    You have my deepest sympathies if you have seen some of the movies I worked on.

  • wayne

    >As long as you’re not responsible for “Plan 9 from Outer Space!”
    Yes, the IMDB page is crowd-editable. I’ll see what I can do…but, if someone more knowledgeable, could take on that task, I would appreciate it.
    Still working on getting you assigned as the “Roving Science Correspondent,” for Crowder.
    [I think I found a promising in, “friend-of-a-friend-of-a-guy” type-thing, but it’s all about getting the information in front of a decision-maker.]

    I digress terribly….
    Psycho Charger
    “Grave Robbers from Outer Space”
    (The genre is called “Psychobilly Punk,” it’s an acquired taste.)

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