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Northrop Grumman satellite-refuelling technology selected by Space Systems Command (SSC)

Washington DC-based Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Passive Refuelling Module (PRM) has been selected as the first preferred refuelling solution interface standard for use across Space Systems Command (SSC) satellites.

The company is collaborating with SSC, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and other customers to develop in-space refuelling technologies for the nation’s space-based assets. These advancements address a critical national security capability: sustained manoeuvrability for dynamic space operations.

“Refuelling is the key to enhanced manoeuvrability, enabling our DoD customers to categorically change the way they operate US assets in space,” said Lauren Smith, program manager, in-space refuelling, Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman’s PRM was selected based on the maturity and technical viability of its design. Future satellites could be designed with an interface like the PRM to receive fuel while in space. SSC contracted with Northrop Grumman to fly the PRM on an operational mission.

SSC and DIU jointly funded Northrop Grumman’s commercial in-space servicing subsidiary, SpaceLogistics, to integrate and fly the PRM on the company’s Mission Robootic Vehicle.

“In an increasingly contested and congested space domain, on-orbit refueling will enable spacecraft to continue maneuvering to engage threats, avoid debris and extend the life of satellites,” said Rob Hauge, president, SpaceLogistics, Northrop Grumman. “As the first and only company successfully providing commercial in-space servicing missions in GEO, we continue to collaborate with SSC and other government customers to mature in-space refuelling capabilities.”

SSC awarded Northrop Grumman the Geosynchronous Auxiliary Support Tanker (GAS-T) contract to begin development of a refuelling tanker and associated technologies to deliver fuel in space.

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