A space tug refers to a spacecraft that remains
permanently in space and whose job is to move
other spacecraft. There is currently one space
tug in serious development and several in the
A space tug in low earth orbit would greatly
benefit the development of an elaborate and powerful
in-space infrastructure. It could rendezvous
with payloads launched from earth and take them
to their destination, typically a space station.
The payloads would no longer need their own orbital
propulsion, guidance, and navigation systems.
Thus launch systems could be simplified and their
costs significantly reduced.
A space tug would also allow for new types of
facilities in orbit such as fuel depots where
vehicles heading for the Moon or other deep space
destinations could fuel up before heading outward.