Northrop’s servicing robot extends the life of an orbiting satellite by five years

Intelsat’s IS-10-02 communications satellite tv for pc was working low on gas – it has been in orbit since 2004, in any case, and has already exceeded the lifespan of its unique mission by greater than 5 years. Because of Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Car-2MEV-2), Nonetheless, it gained 5 extra years of life and would stay operational relatively than decommissioned. The MEV-2 was launched in August and has since been making its strategy to a satellite tv for pc in geosynchronous orbit. On Monday, it achieved its goal and climbed it to offer extra gas to the IS-10-02.

Based on Techcrunch, A consultant described the robotic spacecraft as a “jetpack for a 10-02 satellite tv for pc”. The spokesperson defined the docking course of as follows:

“The MEV-2 docking system features a probe that we put into the liquid Apogee engine behind a satellite tv for pc. About 80% of the satellites in orbit have this function, giving the MEV service a wide range of clients. Liquid Apogee. . The engine acts as a “catch the cone” to assist direct the probe, which as soon as passes via the engine’s throat, the consumer expands to carry the satellite tv for pc. The probe is then positioned three in opposition to the launching ring. The stanchion or legs are pulled and retracted., Securely tying two autos collectively. “

this Mark For the primary time a life-extension service automobile was in a position to dock in its lively GEO orbital location with an lively satellite tv for pc. The MEV-2’s predecessor, the MEV-1, closed final yr on Intelsat’s IS-901. The satellite tv for pc was already out of gas and was thrown out of its unique orbit at the moment. As Techcrunch Notes, Northrop Grumman had to make sure that MEV-2’s strategy wouldn’t impede the operation and orbit of its goal. By efficiently doing so, the Aerospace Company proved that it’s doable to serve lively satellites, which implies that corporations can save tens of millions by extending the lives of their previous house objects.

The MEV-2 will stay with the IS-10-02 earlier than extending the lifetime of the second satellite tv for pc. Along with MEV, the corporate is engaged on robotic autos that may carry out in-orbit restore, augmentation, meeting, and inspection. These autos may also be used to ship life-giving pods to satellites to increase the lifetime of their missions with out the necessity to dock with their targets. Northrop Grumman hopes to launch each of these applied sciences by 2024.

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