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First Docking: Satellite Life Extension Achieved

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Mission Extension Car-1 (MEV-1) closes in on the Intelsat 901 (IS-901) spacecraft.
Credit score: Northrop Grumman

The primary docking of the Mission Extension Car-1 (MEV-1) to the Intelsat 901 (IS-901) spacecraft so as to present life-extension providers has been achieved.

The February 25 occasion marks the primary time two business satellites have docked in orbit and the primary time that mission extension providers can be provided to a satellite tv for pc in geosynchronous orbit.

MEV-1 was launched Oct. 9, 2019 to dock with the Intelsat 901 satellite tv for pc, a completely operational communication satellite tv for pc that’s operating low on gasoline.

The primary time two business satellites have docked in orbit.
Credit score: Northrop Grumman

 

What now?

The mixed spacecraft stack will now carry out on-orbit checkouts earlier than MEV-1 begins relocating the mixed automobile to return IS-901 into service in late March.

MEV-1 will present 5 years of life extension providers to the IS-901 satellite tv for pc earlier than returning the spacecraft to a closing decommissioning orbit. MEV-1 will then transfer on to supply mission extension providers to a brand new shopper spacecraft.

Floor testing of docking method.
Credit score: Northrop Grumman/House Logistics Providers

 

 

Mechanical docking system

MEV-1 was designed and constructed on the Northrop Grumman’s Dulles, Virginia, facility and makes use of a low-risk mechanical docking system that attaches to current options on the shopper satellite tv for pc.

In keeping with a Northrop Grumman assertion, as soon as docked, MEV takes over the perspective and orbit upkeep of the mixed automobile stack to satisfy the pointing and station protecting necessities of the shopper.

MEV is designed for a number of docking and undockings and might ship over 15 years of life extension providers. The corporate is scheduled to launch its second Mission Extension Car, MEV-2, later this yr, which is contracted to supply service to a special Intelsat satellite tv for pc.


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