DULLES, Va. – Jan. 29, 2024 – Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Passive Refueling Module (PRM) has been selected as the first preferred refueling solution interface standard for use across SSC satellites. The company is collaborating with SSC, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and other customers to develop in-space refueling technologies for the nation’s space-based assets. These advancements address a critical national security capability: sustained maneuverability for dynamic space operations.

  • Northrop Grumman’s PRM was selected based on the maturity and technical viability of its design.
  • Future satellites could be designed with an interface like the PRM to receive fuel while in space. SSC contracted with Northrop Grumman to fly the PRM on an operational mission.
  • SSC and DIU jointly funded Northrop Grumman’s commercial in-space servicing subsidiary, SpaceLogistics, to integrate and fly the PRM on the company’s Mission Robotic Vehicle.  
  • SSC awarded Northrop Grumman the Geosynchronous Auxiliary Support Tanker (GAS-T) contract to begin development of a refueling tanker and associated technologies to deliver fuel in space.


Lauren Smith, program manager, in-space refueling, Northrop Grumman: “Refueling is the key to enhanced maneuverability, enabling our DoD customers to categorically change the way they operate U.S. assets in space. Built on a strong foundation of satellite servicing innovation, we are prepared to deliver a complete refueling architecture solution.”

Rob Hauge, president, SpaceLogistics, Northrop Grumman: “In an increasingly contested and congested space domain, on-orbit refueling will enable spacecraft to continue maneuvering to engage threats, avoid debris and extend the life of satellites. As the first and only company successfully providing commercial in-space servicing missions in GEO, we continue to collaborate with SSC and other government customers to mature in-space refueling capabilities.”

Northrop Grumman Satellite-Refueling Technology Selected as First Preferred Refueling Solution Interface Standard for Space Systems Command
Northrop Grumman’s GAS-T design will leverage an ESPAStar-D satellite platform to add fuel and extend the life of in-orbit assets. (Image Credit: Northrop Grumman) 

Additional Details:

To maintain U.S leadership in space, Northrop Grumman continues rapid development of technologies to deploy the capability to refuel space-based assets. Northrop Grumman has unparalleled expertise in Rendezvous and Proximity Operations and leads the industry in on-orbit life-extension with more than six years’ experience servicing satellites in orbit.

The refueling interface system Northrop Grumman is developing includes elements to successfully dock and transfer fuel, as well as a refueling payload that handles fuel transfer. These developments follow years of work by Northrop Grumman across additional government contracts and internal investments to mature all elements of key refueling technology and mission architecture. Numerous successful design reviews and rigorous test campaigns have been accomplished.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with the capabilities they need to connect and protect the world, and push the boundaries of human exploration across the universe. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our employees define possible every day.