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Orbit Fab and ClearSpace to Build an In-Space Refueling Service

By Rachel Jewett | January 24, 2024

      Artistic impression of the ClearSpace Servicer using an Orbit Fab payload to refuel a client satellite. Photo: ClearSpace and Orbit Fab

      Orbit Fab and ClearSpace announced a new partnership on Wednesday to create an in-space refueling service. Under an MoU, Orbit Fab and ClearSpace have agreed to leverage their complementary capabilities by creating a refueling service architecture that pairs an Orbit Fab fuel depot with a ClearSpace shuttle. 

      Both are in-orbit servicing companies, working to offer services including refueling and mission extension. The two companies began collaborating several years ago, and Orbit Fab is already supporting ClearSpace with the design of its CLEAR mission for active debris removal

      The companies said that combining Orbit Fab’s fuel transfer expertise with ClearSpace’s vision system and rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO) capabilities will create a “competitive, commercial marketplace for turn-key, in-orbit refueling services.” 

      “Orbit Fab is the clear leader in satellite refueling, and ClearSpace is excited to partner with them as we explore possibilities for advancing new servicing and refueling capabilities that will ultimately benefit everyone participating in the space economy and beyond,” said Luc Piguet, ClearSpace Co-Founder and CEO. “ClearSpace and Orbit Fab are seeing growing demand in the U.S., UK, and around the world for service vehicles and refueling as government and commercial operators seek to boost the ROI of their missions and extend operations.” 

      Daniel Faber, Orbit Fab founder and CEO said this collaboration will push the boundaries for both companies. “Our RAFTI and GRIP refueling systems are the interfaces of choice for secure, sustainable in-space refueling operations, and our work with ClearSpace, both in the US and in the UK, is revolutionizing the capabilities that make extended satellite operations a reality.”