Satellites don’t live forever, but a new space vehicle could prevent their inevitable deaths for at least a little while.
ViviSat, the company behind the satellite-saving project, hopes to fix ailing satellites by sending rescue agents called Mission Extension Vehicles (MEV) right to them. The MEVs would aide out-of-whack satellites by adjusting their orbits, rescuing them after they’ve launched off in faulty directions, or providing them with more power.
The space vehicle would use sensors to track down the ailing satellites it was after. Once it reached its target, the MEV would use proximity sensors to dock with these satellites and push them in different orbits.
The company, which is a partnership between rocket launcher ATK and U.S. Space, claims that of the 350 satellites orbiting Earth, 25 run out of fuel every year. Of those 25, about 10 could use the services of MEV, a number that could significantly cut down on space waste.
ViviSat: An On-Call, Robotic Doctor for Ailing Satellites [Popular Science]
Image, Video: ViviSat
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com