NASA contract spacecraft will refuel satellites in space

NASA has awarded a contract for a new spacecraft that will refuel satellites already deployed in space. The space agency has dubbed this the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus, which is itself part of the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus and Support Services contract. Space Systems/Loral based out of California were awarded the contract, which has a total value of $127 million according to NASA, and it'll get a total of five years to fulfill the contract.

NASA announced the awarded contract on Monday, saying it provides Space Systems/Loral with three years as a 'core period' and two years as an indefinite-delivery and indefinite-quantity portion. During this time, Space Systems/Loral will assemble everything needed for the Restore-L mission, including the spacecraft bus itself, the services needed to deploy it, and all the critical hardware.

Space Systems/Loral will continue to be involved once the Restore-L mission kicks off, with NASA saying it will also give services for operations, launching and testing the spacecraft, and facilitating 'mission integration.' However, the refueling mission itself will be handled by the space agency's Satellite Servicing Projects Division at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Assuming everything goes as planned, NASA anticipates the Restore-L mission launching in 2020, at which point the spacecraft will refuel low-Earth-orbit government satellites. Additional details about the planned spacecraft, though, haven't been provided at this time. Check out the timeline below for more NASA news!