The goal of the Orbital Express Space Operations Architecture program was to validate the technical feasibility of robotic, autonomous on-orbit refueling and reconfiguration of satellites to support a broad range of future U.S. national security and commercial space programs. Refueling satellites would enable them to frequently maneuver to improve coverage, improve survivability, as well as extend satellite lifetime. Electronics upgrades on-orbit would provide regular performance improvements and dramatically reduce the time to deploy new technology.
The Orbital Express advanced technology demonstration designed, developed, and tested on orbit a prototype servicing satellite (ASTRO) and a surrogate next-generation serviceable satellite (NextSat). The elements of the Orbital Express demonstration, coordinated with U.S. Air Force Space Command and Air Force Space and Missile Command, were tied together by non-proprietary satellite servicing interfaces (mechanical, electrical, etc.) that facilitated the development of an industry-wide on-orbit servicing infrastructure. NASA applied the sensors and software developed for autonomous rendezvous and proximity operations to reduce risk for collaborative human-robotic operations in space for the NASA Exploration Initiative .
You are now leaving the DARPA.mil website that is under the control and
management of DARPA. The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute
endorsement by DARPA of non-U.S. Government sites or the information,
products, or services contained therein. Although DARPA may or may not
use these sites as additional distribution channels for Department of
Defense information, it does not exercise editorial control over all of
the information that you may find at these locations. Such links are
provided consistent with the stated purpose of this website.
After reading this message, click to continue