The refuelling of the orbit satellite technology will be a reality and practical in the coming days. The orbital satellite refuelling will reduce the cost immensely and make the orbital business sustainable. One of the companies that makes refuelling in orbit become a reality is the Startup fab, which is a 2019 TechCrunch Battlefield finalist. Startup Fab won a contract with the National Science Foundation, an early-stage deep tech Rand D initiative America Seed Fund to implement its goal.
The agreement is about the development of a solution that brings rendezvous and docking capacity in the space with the capability to control the-end-to-end steps of joining the two satellites and enabling the transfer of the fuel. Last year October, orbit Fab unveiled the hardware that will function as the connector between the two spacecraft to enhance the process of fuel transfer. The connector hardware name is the Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI). RAFTI has a design that replaces the existing valves that the satellites used for fuelling and removing propellant on the spacecraft, currently the company tries to establish a new RAFTI that interoperate both the ground fuelling and the space fuelling.
Orbit fab has traveled to space two times up to International Space Station. Last year, Fab was the only privately owned company that managed to provide water to the orbital lab. The company is resting on its success, and the contract will enable it to demonstrate a technology on how it will dock and facilitate its RAFTI in the summer.
The above funding was to enable Fab to demonstrate phase one multi-partner funding contract with the NSF. According to the agreement, the first phase included 250,000 US dollars for a demonstration, which will enable the company to do the trial on how it will sale the fuel operation in space. THE Fab CMO said it would happen in two years.
The process will involve two satellites, which are the tanker and the customer satellite, which is in the low earth orbit (LEO) landing, fuel transfer, and decoupling. The process above will occur severally to proof of their ability, Jeremy added through email. There are many other numbers of projects which are technical that demonstration has taken place in the orbit and some through largest companies in the space industry that want to participate in the challenge. The challenge placed by orbit Fab is the most straightforward and easy to execute by following the typical standards which will leverage across a range of different satellites