The maneuver was accomplished at 1:34 p.m. Jap, marking the primary time a satellite tv for pc servicer has docked with an in-service business satellite tv for pc in geosynchronous orbit (GEO).
The 2 spacecraft will keep locked collectively for 5 years to increase the lifetime of IS-10-02, which was operating low on gas after being in orbit since 2004.
MEV-2 will then undock and transfer on to a brand new mission.
“The success of this mission paves the best way for our second era of servicing satellites and robotics, providing flexibility and resiliency for each business and authorities satellite tv for pc operators, which might allow completely new courses of missions,” stated Tom Wilson, vp of strategic house techniques at Northrop Grumman.
IS-10-02 supplies broadband and media distribution providers to Intelsat clients throughout Europe, the Center East, Africa and South America.
MEV-2 has been performing shut proximity operations with the spacecraft since early March, getting near calibrate and check techniques earlier than backing off.
The 2 corporations have come near trying to dock a number of instances this previous month.
MEV-1, the satellite tv for pc servicer’s predecessor, efficiently hooked up to a different Intelsat satellite tv for pc final 12 months referred to as IS-901, lifting the sidelined satellite tv for pc out of GEO graveyard orbit to convey it again into service April 2, 2020.
Intelsat chief providers officer Mike DeMarco stated: “Area servicing is a useful software for Intelsat in extending the high-quality service expertise that our clients depend on.
“Northrop Grumman’s MEV know-how has helped us lengthen the lifetime of two high-performing satellites, whereas focusing our innovation capital on advancing the Intelsat next-generation community – this know-how is a ‘win-win’ for us.”
The U.S. Protection Superior Analysis Initiatives Company (DARPA) awarded Northrop a contract final 12 months to develop a separate mission robotic car (MRV). Northrop stated the MRV will launch in 2024 to hold out repairs and different in-orbit providers along with relocating satellites.
The MRV is being designed to put in mission extension pods (MEPs), which Northrop can be growing, to increase the lifetime of getting old satellites.