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Orbit Fab to offer orbital depot for refueling hydrazine fuel in satellites

Capitalism in space: Orbit Fab is now offering to launch for satellite customers an orbital hydrazine fuel depot, essentially a “gas station” in space, that can be used to refill that fuel on geosynchronous satellites.

Orbit Fab, a startup developing infrastructure for in-space refueling of spacecraft, will start offering hydrazine for satellites in geostationary orbit as soon as 2025 at a price of $20 million.

The company announced Aug. 30 its plans to start offering refueling services for GEO spacecraft using a depot and “fuel shuttle” spacecraft. That depot will also be able to support spacecraft such as servicing vehicles that can travel to the depot for “self-service” refueling.

At the $20 million price announced by Orbit Fab, the company would provide up to 100 kilograms of hydrazine. It’s the first time that the company has set a price for providing fuel, a move it says it made to help potential customers better understand the economics of refueling.

The depot would be placed in orbit slightly above that of geosynchronous satellites. A shuttle robot would dock with it, obtain the fuel, and then fly to a customer’s satellite, dock and refuel it. If that shuttle is built by Orbit Fab, the customer’s satellite will need the company’s standard refueling port. For geosynchronous satellites without that port, Orbit Fab is willing to partner with other orbital refueling and satellite servicing spacecraft, such as Northrop Grumman’s and Astroscale’s repair robot satellites.

This plan has several firsts. It is the first to offer a price for a specific amount of fuel. It also appears to be the first to refuel the hydrazine in satellites. Finally, it illustrates the on-going compartmentalization of the satellite servicing industry. Some companies are making tugs. Some are launching repair robots. Others are making robots to remove space junk. And Orbit Fab is going to build fuel stations where everyone else can get fuel.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3 comments

  • wayne

    If the interweb is to be believed, hydrazine retails for $200-300 per kilogram, delivered, terrestrially.

  • GaryMike

    I am so happy to witness commerce moving into the solar system.

    To the Future!

  • Star Bird

    Delithum Cracking Stations are Automated and fond on remote planets like Delta Vega on the other side of the Galactic Barrier

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