Richard White, president of government systems business of Maxar Technologies’ SSL subsidiary, has said he believes on-orbit satellite servicing initiatives could transform the basic principles of how industry and government use and regard satellites, the Via Satellite magazine reported in its August 2018 issue.
White mentioned the company’s on-orbit assembly work through the Dragonfly program with NASA and how the project allows SSL to demonstrate its on-orbit servicing and assembly capabilities.
“If you have the ability to upgrade, that’s certainly fundamental change. If you can assemble it in space, now you can start to think about sending spacecraft up in pieces,” he added.
White cited SSL’s efforts to build a servicing spacecraft through a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and as part of the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program.
“For RSGS, the core mission is to deploy a system that can inspect, correct anomalies, cooperatively relocate and install upgrades to an on-orbit satellite, whether that’s commercial or government,” he noted.