SSL completes preliminary design review for Nasa’s satellite servicing mission


US-based Space Systems Loral (SSL) has concluded the preliminary design review (PDR) for Nasa’s Restore-L mission that will offer satellite servicing in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Completion of the PDR has enabled the mission to move towards its next phase of development, which will include a detailed design process.

The three-day PDR was carried out at SSL’s facilities and demonstrated the mission’s ability to meet system requirements.

"We are on track to developing a capability that helps maintain our country’s international position as a leader in advanced space technology."

SSL government systems president Richard White said: “Satellite servicing in low-Earth orbit is of great value for Nasa exploration and science architectures, as well as national security.

“With the PDR successfully completed, we are on track to developing a capability that helps maintain our country’s international position as a leader in advanced space technology.

“In addition to enabling high-value assets to continue to be used, Restore-L will test cross-cutting technologies that have applications for other important Nasa missions.”

To be launched by 2020, the Restore-L spacecraft is currently under development by SSL and Nasa Goddard Space Flight Centre’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD).

The spacecraft will be designed to use robotics and several advance technologies to grasp and refuel an existing government satellite already in LEO in order to extend the operational life of the satellite's space assets.

It will also demonstrate new tools, technologies and techniques that will help future space exploration missions, as well as a new satellite servicing industry in the US.

Restore-L will also be able to provide structural support, propulsion, attitude control, data and communications interface, as well as the power to support its robotic payload for the upcoming on-orbit demonstration.