Orbital Express program summary and mission overview

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Abstract

The Orbital Express program was created to prove that the technical obstacles to satellite servicing were surmountable- to "take the technical excuse off the table" as it were. This mission demonstrated short range and long range autonomous rendezvous, capture and berthing, on-orbit electronics upgrades, on-orbit refueling, and autonomous fly-around visual inspection using a demonstration client satellite. The Orbital Express spacecraft were launched March 8, 2007 and completed their mission on July 22, 2007. 100% of mission success criteria and objectives were achieved. This paper describes, at a high level, the program goals and objectives, key milestones & events, accomplishments, and some of the obstacles that were overcome during the mission.

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Authors

  • Robert B. Friend

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