New collaboration set to enable on-orbit refuelling of satellites

A new collaboration between Orbit Fab and Dawn Aerospace seeks to provide a means to refuel satellites in space with green fuels.

1 minute & 14 seconds read time

The vision of Orbit Fab is to create the first Gas Stations in Space™, and it has announced a collaboration with Dawn Aerospace, a space-transportation company, to provide an on-orbit refueling service to satellites utilizing nitrous oxide (N2O) and propylene (C3H6).

New collaboration set to enable on-orbit refuelling of satellites 01

Orbit Fab has developed a fuel port designated the Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface, or RAFTI. Recently made available under an open license, it is an option available for government and commercial satellites and will be available for Dawn Aerospace customers midway through 2022.

Dawn produces propulsion systems for use in space utilizing green propellants, including nitrous oxide and propylene, gases which are readily available from domestic suppliers. The viability of Dawn's technology has been proven in CubeSats and other small satellites, and Dawn propulsion systems have flown aboard Vega, Falcon 9, and Soyuz rockets.

This announcement was made at the Space Tech Expo in Bremen, Germany, by Daniel Faber, Orbit Fab CEO, and Jeroen Wink, Dawn CRO.

"We know that prolonging the life of satellites is key in growing the space industry sustainably - both environmentally and economically," said Jeroen Wink, Dawn CRO. In geostationary orbits, refueling can extend a satellite's operational life by years, where each additional year is worth upward of $50 million additional revenue. We see this partnership with Orbit Fab as part of Dawn's broader commitment to growing on-orbit capability and infrastructure."

"For a bustling in-space economy, we need to provide the right fuel in orbit to support all missions," said Daniel Faber, Orbit Fab CEO. This partnership is important for us as the propellant combination that Dawn has pioneered has significant advantages for certain mission profiles."

The collaboration serves to bolster the vision of Orbit Fab, which hopes to see its refueling services as a key component in a thriving future space-based market.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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