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Space

New Way of Extending Satellite Life Saves Millions 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the make-it-last dept.
coondoggie writes "A new technique to save aging satellites promises to save millions of dollars by extending the life of communications spacecraft. A process developed by researchers from Purdue University and Lockheed Martin has already saved $60 million for unnamed broadcasters by extending the service life of two communications satellites. In a nutshell the technique works by applying an advanced simulation and a method that equalizes the amount of propellant in satellite fuel tanks so that the satellite consumes all of the fuel before being retired from service. Some aging communications satellites are each equipped with four fuel tanks. If one of the tanks empties before the others, the satellite loses control and should be decommissioned, wasting the remaining fuel in the other tanks."

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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