[FPSPACE] Orbiting robots could repair satellites on the fly
gorski at ctc.net
Tue Jul 1 15:04:51 EDT 2008
Alas, that probably means robotic servicing missions aren't much more
feasible than pushing satellites around!
It's been a few years so I get them a little blurred in my mind, but there
were a few members of a little spaceborne fleet described therein. I
guess OMV was the one that was in any real level of planning, though the
OTV was the one that could solve problems with e.g. Hubble--I didn't think
OMV had the impulse to carry a heavy vehicle like Hubble very far (say,
from its current orbit to ISS's). Not that that would have been a problem
anybody would have anticipated at the time--Freedom's orbit would have
been closer than ISS's, and nobody would have blinked twice at the safety
of just flying the Shuttle up to Hubble to fix it.
I could be wrong, though.
On Tue, 1 Jul 2008 agzak at optonline.net wrote:
}Budget cuts killed the OMV, which, by the way, had no aerobraking
}capabilities and whose role never went beyond servicing Hubble, SIRTF and
}other few expensive "big observatories." Aerobraking tugs never went
}beyond conceptual studies, I suspect. The main problem was, I think, is
}the fact that commercial satellite manufacturers had never adopted the
}very philosophy of orbital repair as a financially viable option.
}Therefore, it was probably irrelevant which orbit the ISS, Shuttle or OMV
}would fly in, since commercial satellites lacked interfaces, docking
}mechanisms, refueling systems and modular elements, which could make it
}feasible to repair them.
}----- Original Message -----
}From: gorski <gorski at ctc.net>
}Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 2:20 pm
}Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Orbiting robots could repair satellites on the fly
}To: LARRY KLAES <ljk4 at msn.com>
}Cc: fpspace at friends-partners.org
}> The problem of course is that there's a somewhat limited ability of a
}> satellite to adapt to the repair job--and astronauts have been getting
}> good at this job for a while. Not just Hubble either--what was the
}> firstone, Solar Max I think? (anybody else remember the "Ace
}> Satellite Repair
}> Somewhere lurking in a drawer I have a short pamphlet on the Ronald
}> ReaganPlan for Space Utilization (title was something like that).
}> Whateverhappened to orbital transfer vehicles? Maybe the 1984 idea
}> of a manned
}> vehicle with an aerobrake was impractical to build, but a robotic
}> spacetug to move things from a useful orbit to a lower/more easily
}> accessibleorbit and back seems like it has some practicality to it.
}> Did that idea go the way of the dodo around when Freedom and Mir-2
}> mergedto become ISS? Was it just budget cuts that ate into it, or
}> did the fact
}> that ISS has such an incredibly steep orbital inclination compared
}> to all
}> the rest of the American hardware in space, that we threw away the
}> spacetug idea because we had nowhere to tow broken satellites to?
}> Anybody have any idea?
}> On Tue, 1 Jul 2008, LARRY KLAES wrote:
}> }Orbiting robots could repair satellites on the fly
}> }NewScientist news service June 28, 2008
}> }Space agencies and satellite
}> }operators should accelerate their
}> }efforts to develop robotic mechanics
}> }that can more economically fix
}> }errant satellites on demand, three
}> }researchers argue....
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