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National Space Council Official Says Tangible Action Needed for On-Orbit Servicing

Space mobility capability

National Space Council Official Says Tangible Action Needed for On-Orbit Servicing

Diane Howard, the National Space Council’s head of commercial space policy, has called on the federal government to allocate funds for on-orbit satellite refueling and servicing capabilities.

Speaking at the recent Space Mobility Conference, she explained that signaling demand to the private sector and international partners will require a clear strategy and “real funding” from the United States, C4ISRNET reported Wednesday.

Howard said the U.S. Space Force and other agencies now need to back their expressed interest in the technology with action.

Clare Martin, Astroscale U.S. executive vice president, said at the same event that industry and private investors want the government to have “something planned for in the budget” indicating long-term funding.

The Space Force recently awarded a $25.5 million contract to Astroscale U.S. to prototype a small, geostationary-orbit satellite that can conduct uninterrupted refueling missions in orbit.

The service branch has set a 2026 deadline to demonstrate an on-orbit refueling and maintenance capability. In 2023, it established a dedicated directorate to oversee the technology and craft an implementation road map.

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Category: Space

Tags: Astroscale C4ISRNET Diane Howard National Space Council On-orbit Servicing space US Space Force