On August 22, two Galileo satellites were launched atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from the European spaceport in French Guiana. Part of the European 30-satellite constellation satnav system similar to GPS, a malfunction sent the pair into the wrong orbit, where they function, but are effectively useless.
That would normally be the very expensive end to the story, but Effective Space believes that the technology it is developing could salvage the two wayward satellites and put them back in their proper orbits using ion-propelled microsatellites.
"We could save them," says Arie Halsband, Effective Space Solutions Founder and CEO. "This is exactly the sort of situation we've been anticipating. Our DeOrbiter microsatellite is designed to provide in-orbit services such as station keeping, deorbiting, relocation and fault monitoring to communications satellites. All of these missions require rendezvous and docking capabilities. DeOrbiter is a uniquely capable microsatellite, which allow it also to perform rescue missions for renegade satellites. We already performed initial analysis and verified we're up to it."