MEV-2 contractor magnificently lands to live Intelsat satellite
On 12th April, TAMPA, Fla. — Northrop Grumman’s MEV-2 satellite contractor magnificently docks with Intelsat’s in-orbit 10-02 spacecraft. The maneuver completes at 1:34 p.m. Eastern, indicating the first time a satellite contractor lands with an in-service commercial satellite in geosynchronous orbit (GEO). The two spacecraft lock in together for five years in order to prolong the life of IS-10-02, which runs low on fuel after staying in orbit since 2004.
Tom Wilson is the vice president of strategic space systems at Northrop Grumman. He said, “The achievement of this operation surfaces the way for our second generation of servicing satellites and robotics, extending flexibility and resilience for both commercial and government satellite operatives, which can allow completely new classes of missions.” MEV-2 will then undock and move on to a new mission.
IS-10-02 offers broadband and media sharing services to Intelsat clients through the following regions:
- South America
- Middle East
MEV-2 presents close vicinity operations with the spaceship since early March. Which moves close to rectify and test procedures before backing off. The two companies have come close together in order to attempt to dock several times this previous month.
On 2nd April 2020, MEV-1 (the satellite contractor’s predecessor) successfully attaches to another Intelsat satellite last year namely IS-901. This is done by taking the side-lined satellite out of GEO cemetery orbit to bring it back into operation.
Mike DeMarco is the Intelsat chief services officer. He said, “Space servicing operations is a useful instrument for Intelsat in expanding the high-quality maintenance experience that our clients depend upon. Northrop Grumman’s MEV technology aids us to prolong the life of two high-performing satellites while concentrating our invention capital on developing the Intelsat next-generation network – this technology is a ‘win-win’ for us.”
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) granted Northrop an agreement past year in order to build a distinct Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV). Northrop said the MRV will commence in 2024 to carry out fixes and other in-orbit services in supplement to repositioning satellites.
The MRV is being devised to install mission extension pods (MEPs). However, Northrop is also evolving, in order to expand the life of maturing satellites.