Repair robot heads for space

A prototype satellite repair robot that can refuel, upgrade and repair satellites was launched from Florida Thursday night to begin a three-month orbital field test.

The two-satellite system, called Orbital Express, was developed by the U.S. military in cooperation with NASA to extend the lives of spy satellites and lay the groundwork for the servicing and repair of government-owned spacecraft and telescopes after the space shuttle fleet is retired.

The unmanned Atlas 5 rocket carrying Orbital Express and four other small research satellites lifted off at 10:10 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, soaring through clear skies to place its clutch of payloads into their proper positions.

More info:  Reuters article 

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