Game Changer: On-Orbit Servicing

A new generation of cooperative spacecraft designed specifically for on-orbit servicing could upgrade their own hardware every few years — a need that has been identified by the commercial, civil, and military satellite sectors. How might on-orbit servicing change the game?

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On-orbit servicing (OOS) refers to on-orbit activities conducted by a space vehicle that performs up-close inspection of, or results in intentional and beneficial changes to, another resident space object. Civil and commercial satellite owners and operators are beginning to explore how to leverage OOS capabilities to enhance their existing constellations, and how to optimize and prepare their next generation of spacecraft for the coming paradigm shift. Satellites launched a decade from now will have servicing companions and be designed for a communal environment.