Recently, NASA and DARPA are administering two major programs with an aim of creating new robot-space-satellites. These space satellites are exploring mission in which a spacecraft leaves Earth and explores space. Being a scientific space exploration mission in which a spacecraft leaves Earth and explores space, it orbits other bodies or approaches interstellar space.
These satellites have an ability to edge up to another orbiter along that can give it a new life or could end it by scooting it up. It can destroy it because the technology to hack these satellites now exists. Let’s say if the enemy is enabled to launch these orbiters and we are not able to match it then we carry the risk of having our own space infrastructure quietly thrashed.
NASA’s satellites program with these servicing capabilities is called Restore-L, with an aim to launch this mission in the mid-2020s along with a demo to be performed with the Landsat-7 satellite.
For the moment, over at DARPA, the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program is expected to be launch by 2021.
However, these servicing satellites could double as weapons as it can make it is embedded with the technology to repair it and at the same time it might harm it. But Restore-L and RSGS are not designed in such a way. “Just about anything could be seen as a weapon. My kids throw their toys at me, and I’m sure that wasn’t the designer’s intent, but it hurts.”