Northrop Grumman leads the way with preferred satellite-refueling tech

January 29, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: Northrop Grumman’s Passive Refueling Module (PRM) has been selected as the preferred refueling solution interface standard for use across Space Systems Command (SSC) satellites. The PRM will enable future satellites to receive fuel while in space, providing sustained maneuverability for dynamic space operations. Northrop Grumman is collaborating with SSC, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), and other customers to develop in-space refueling technologies. Northrop Grumman’s commercial in-space servicing subsidiary, SpaceLogistics, will integrate and fly the PRM on an operational mission. Additionally, Northrop Grumman has been awarded the Geosynchronous Auxiliary Support Tanker (GAS-T) contract to develop a refueling tanker and associated technologies to deliver fuel in space.

The selected PRM is based on its maturity and technical viability, and Northrop Grumman’s expertise in satellite servicing and on-orbit life extension. The refueling interface system being developed by Northrop Grumman includes elements for successful docking and fuel transfer. The company has conducted numerous successful design reviews and test campaigns to mature the technology and mission architecture.

The ability to refuel spacecraft while in space is crucial for enhanced maneuverability, enabling changes in the way DoD customers operate U.S. assets in space. On-orbit refueling allows spacecraft to continue maneuvering, engage threats, avoid debris, and extend satellite life. Northrop Grumman’s rapid development of refueling technologies aims to maintain U.S. leadership in space.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company, working to equip customers with the capabilities needed to connect and protect the world. They are dedicated to solving their customers’ toughest problems and pushing the boundaries of human exploration.

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