coondoggie writes "A new technique to save aging satellites promises to save millions of dollars by extending the life of communications spacecraft. A process developed by researchers from Purdue University and Lockheed Martin has already saved $60 million for unnamed broadcasters by extending the service life of two communications satellites. In a nutshell the technique works by applying an advanced simulation and a method that equalizes the amount of propellant in satellite fuel tanks so that the satellite consumes all of the fuel before being retired from service. Some aging communications satellites are each equipped with four fuel tanks. If one of the tanks empties before the others, the satellite loses control and should be decommissioned, wasting the remaining fuel in the other tanks."
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