Maj. Gen. Stephen Purdy, program executive officer for assured access to space at Space Systems Command, said the U.S. Space Force is working on a plan to tap commercial companies to provide satellite refueling and servicing capabilities, C4ISRNET reported Wednesday.
He noted that the military branch intends to pay for commercial on-orbit servicing of its satellites once it has available funding.
“We want to do on-orbit servicing and maneuver and refueling as a service,” Purdy told the publication during an interview Tuesday at a conference in Orlando, Florida.
“The urgency now is [to] figure out . . . what’s going to be there, figure out how to take advantage of it and then build that complicated structure internally,” he added.
He said that internal structure includes acquisition and contracting strategies, physical space and manpower.
Purdy noted that he thinks lawmakers are interested in on-orbit servicing since Congress allocated $30 million in funding for space mobility and logistics under the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2023.
“There’s interest on the hill already, so we’ll continue to push that effort,” he added.