NASA is having a robot spacecraft built that will be able to act as a space mechanic, servicing satellites in orbit.

The space agency announced this week that it awarded a contract worth $127 million to Palo Alto, Calif.-based Space Systems/Loral for the robotic spacecraft, dubbed Restore-L.

The project is designed to lead to a greener, more sustainable space program since the satellites could be refueled and their lives greatly extended.

A satellite can work only as long as it has propellant — and only so much can be stored in its tank at launch time.

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