Tags: NASA | Aerojet | space | tug

NASA Contractor Plans 'Space Tug' to Maneuver Satellites

Monday, 07 Nov 2011 08:38 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Aerojet, a California-based rocket engine contractor that works with NASA and the U.S. Air Force, plans to build a solar-powered “space tug” that could help move satellites into orbit or space vehicles to the moon or other destinations.

Aerojet approached officials at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, about the project, aimed at designing and building the prototype of a reusable vehicle powerful enough to also help propel spacecraft to Mars and other planets.

The company also wants to work with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in an effort to have its first space tug ready for testing within 3 to 5 years, according to the Dayton Daily News.

“As we get closer to building a demonstrator, we’d need to put a facility in place,” Aerojet official Joe Cassady told the Daily News.

No decisions on where that facility might be built has been made, but the Daily News reported that the Ohio Aerospace Institute is pushing to have any research and design work done in the state extended to the construction of a Ohio-based manufacturing facility.

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