Until recently, many people were shaking their heads at the news that fuel stations for space vehicles will be built on the orbit. This is no longer the future, but reality. The first station is already there, and now it’s time for a much bigger one.
The first company that can refuel any vehicle in orbit for a fee is Orbit Fab. Its representatives sent the first test component of such a fueling station into orbit this spring. Tenzing’s Tanker-001 is actually a fuel store for oxidizer in the form of 35 kilograms of concentrated 85-98% hydrogen peroxide.
Now it’s time for a second, larger fueling station. Tanker-002 is scheduled to come to orbit late next year. We are talking about tanks capable of holding 200 pounds of hydrazine. With it, you can refuel space installations and extend their life by several years.
Geostationary orbit is an area of interest to most of our customers, especially the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. Launching operations in this orbit will be an important milestone for us
Daniel Faber, CEO of Orbit Fab, said.
There are more and more critical and very expensive satellites in orbit. New ones are being added to them every now and then. All installations are powered by different types of fuel. The Orbit Fab company wants to offer their owners a servicing system so that they can serve them for as long as possible. The project also assumes the refueling of space vehicles with missions to the moon or planets.
However, the company has much more ambitious plans. Stationary fuel stations alone will not be the end. In a few years, space vehicles are expected to appear in orbit to provide fuel on demand. Orbit Fab has revealed that the interest in its services is gigantic. This is especially important for the Pentagon and corporations that want to participate in the U.S. return-to-the-moon program.
The U.S. Department of Defense plans to put spacecraft in orbit in the near future with advanced robot-soldiers on board. Their role will be to patrol space and protect U.S. mining interests on the Moon or planetoids. Then the fuel stands will be the salvation in being able to operate there permanently.
The Orbit Fab fuel stations are to be delivered into orbit using Falcon-9 rockets, owned by SpaceX. Interestingly, the stations will participate in the refueling of NASA’s manned lunar landers after 2024. That’s when the U.S. will begin colonizing the Silver Globe to stay there permanently and begin the era of space mining.