6 The Next Space Race an essential suite of tools for building in-space industry and an off-Earth supply chain. ISAM is among the fastest-maturing technologies and will benefit from the recently released White House national strategy advocat- ing for building on these emerging capabilities.34 Servicing and assembly will come first, with manufacturing not far behind. Coupled with space- based extractive industries (Lunar and asteroid mining), in-space power, and in-space logistics systems, these technologies open up a vast canvas of new industries and enable ISAM to a previously unthinkable scale. Most satellites are treated as disposable—they are launched with a lim- ited amount of onboard propellant, and for the most part, the satellites are neither refueled nor upgraded. A satellite’s life expectancy is calculated based on maintaining its orbit and having enough fuel for a safe deor- bit upon completion of the satellite’s mission. However, satellites are now being developed with the capability to provide services to other satellites, like adjusting their orbits or delivering additional fuel, thereby extending the satellites’ lives. Both in-space refueling and life-extension maneuver- ing have been demonstrated. For example, in February 2020, U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) completed the first successful life extension by docking with Intelsat 901 (IS-901) and moving it into a desirable orbit to extend the communication Figure 1.2 Population of Space, 2020–2060 Estimates Source: Milky Way Economy.
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