Space drones to extend life of ageing satellites

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Space drones to extend life of ageing satellites

A UK company aims to give ageing communications satellites a new lease of life by launching small space vehicles to dock with the craft in orbit and control them once they have run out of fuel.

Effective Space, based in London, has signed a $100m contract to extend the life of two satellites for a large communications operator, which will be announced soon.

In 2020 it will send two of its Space Drone craft into geostationary orbit 36,000km above the Earth, to attach themselves to the satellites and keep them correctly oriented for up to five years.