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Red Canyon Sofware - Exploring Other Planets, Improving Our Own


Orbital Express

As explained by the Ball Aerospace website, "the Orbital Express Advanced Technology Demonstration Program is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) mission intended to develop and demonstrate autonomous techniques for on-orbit refueling, reconfiguration and repair of satellites. This program uses two satellites to perform this demonstration: the unmanned service vehicle, ASTRO, and the serviceable/commodities satellite, NEXTSat/CSC. The Orbital Express spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on March 8, 2007.

The technologies developed by the Orbital Express program were intended to support a broad range of future U.S. national security, civil and commercial space activities. It will reduce risk for future on-orbit servicing missions by developing standard servicing interfaces and protocols. Technologies demonstrated will also enable cost reductions for future space programs and improve mission utility through spacecraft life extension and/or improved maneuverability."

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