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Orbit Fab Announces Plans for Hydrazine Refueling Depot in Orbit

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
August 31, 2022
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Credit: Orbit Fab

Orbit Fab has announced plans for an orbital refueling depot. The Register reports:

Spacecraft running low on fuel could get a refill from an orbital station by the year 2025, according to a startup named Orbit Fab that reckons it can charge $20 million to top up your tank….

Orbit Fab is therefore hoping to build, for want of a better word, a depot 300 km from Earth in geostationary orbit that can send out shuttles each containing, say, 100kg of hydrazine to visiting satellites and potentially other spacecraft that need a refill and can plug into the tanks….

Co-founder and chief development officer Jeremy Schiel said government agencies and private operators have “expressed explicit interest to get refueled in the next three to five years.” He also said that the design of the fuel depot system is “basically done,” and that the company is now working on designing its fuel shuttles…..

Astroscale, an orbital debris removal biz, is the only customer that has publicly signed up for the satellite refueling service. Orbit Fab has committed to supplying 1,000 kilograms of xenon propellant to top up Astroscale’s Life Extension In-Orbit (LEXI) satellites, which are capable of being refueled in space and are scheduled to launch in 2026 into geostationary orbit.