Tag Archives: Cepollina

The second phase of NASA’s robotic refueling demo on ISS has successfully proven that a robot can remove a satellite fuel cap not designed for refueling.

The second phase of NASA’s robotic refueling demo on ISS has successfully proven that a robot can remove a satellite fuel cap not designed for refueling.

The fuel cap design is a duplicate of that used by several climate research satellites presently in orbit. These satellites were not designed to be refueled, but if they could be refueled, their usefulness in orbit could be doubled, even tripled. This test is intended to demonstrate that a robot could refuel them.

The last phase of this robotic demo will take place in August, when the robots will attempt to pump a simulated fuel into the demo satellite.

Robot refueling test of satellites to be launched on last shuttle flight

A testbed for testing the robotic refueling of satellites will be installed on ISS on last shuttle flight.

This whole testbed is the brainchild of Frank Cepollina, the man behind all of the Hubble Space Telescope repair missions. Until recently it was doubtful there was room for this project on any shuttle mission. That he nonetheless managed to get it on the last flight is another testament to Cepollina’s incredible ability to get things done. And if the tests work on ISS, NASA will then consider launching operational systems for refueling several perfectly usable climate satellites now in orbit.