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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Northrop Grumman satellite-refueling technology selected as refueling solution interface standard for SSC

Updated: Jan 30

Northrop Grumman’s GAS-T design will leverage an ESPAStar-D satellite platform to add fuel and extend the life of in-orbit assets. (Image Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Passive Refueling Module (PRM) has been selected as the first preferred refueling solution interface standard for use across SSC satellites. The company is collaborating with SSC, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and other customers to develop in-space refueling technologies for the nation’s space-based assets. These advancements address a critical national security capability: sustained maneuverability for dynamic space operations.

  • 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 Robotic Vehicle.  

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


Lauren Smith, program manager, in-space refueling, Northrop Grumman: “Refueling is the key to enhanced maneuverability, enabling our DoD customers to categorically change the way they operate US assets in space. Built on a strong foundation of satellite servicing innovation, we are prepared to deliver a complete refueling architecture solution.”

Rob Hauge, president, SpaceLogistics, Northrop Grumman: “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. 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 refueling capabilities.”

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