MEV-1 completes docking manoeuvre with Intelsat 901

by | Feb 28, 2020 | History, Satellites, Seradata News, Technology

The first-of-its-kind docking of a service spacecraft with its client spacecraft, in this case of MEV-1 with Intelsat 901, occurred at 0715 GMT on 25 February 2020. This was the first time that two commercial satellites had docked together in-orbit. It was also significant since the target satellite was not designed for docking, providing technical challenges that had to be overcome. The target, Intelsat 901, is a nearly 19-years-old communications satellite providing C- and Ku-band coverage, however it has nearly used up all of its fuel. The MEV-1 unit (Mission Extension Vehicle) is designed to dock to the satellite through its Apogee Kick Motor (AKM) and take over the station-keeping responsibilities of the older satellite.

Intelsat 901 had been moved up to 300 km above the geostationary belt in preparation for the docking. This was done to minimise any potential third-party damages resulting from the manoeuvre. Post-docking the combined stack will undergo a series of tests before it is moved back into the GEO belt. If testing is successful, Intelsat 901 is planned to replace its sister unit Intelsat 907 currently located at 332.5 degrees East.

Intelsat has contracted for the use of MEV-1 for five years, however the MEV units are reported to have enough fuel for 15 years in-orbit. This means that Northrop Grumman should be able to offer the MEV-1 to other customers for the mission extension service once its time with Intelsat is over.

The MEV-1 satellite docking with Intelsat 901. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Proton M flies Eutelsat 5 West B comsat and MEV-1 servicing spacecraft into orbit…then ILS President Kirk Pysher resigns

A Proton M/Briz M vehicle was launched at 1017 GMT on 9 October from Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. Read more

Intelsat secures manufacturer for seventh C-band replacement sat as well as launches for all seven

Intelsat has brought to an end its extraordinary year of satellite and launch orders. On 17 September, it placed a Read more

Intelsat refines C-band replacement sat launch plans – some units ordered may not simply be “C-band” satellites

Intelsat has updated its C-band transition plan with the FCC. On 14 August it outlined additions to the launch schedule Read more

Bumper crop for US satellite manufacturers with six Intelsat orders and four from SES as other nations also see GEO upturn

Intelsat, the global satellite operator undergoing Chapter 11 proceedings in the USA, confirmed on 15 June that it had ordered Read more

FCC C-band clearing payments unlocked after SES and Intelsat commit to the accelerated process

Not to be out-done by fellow satellite operator SES, Intelsat also submitted their commitment to the accelerated C-band clearing process Read more

Intelsat files for Chapter 11 to help it secure US$4.87 billion in FCC C-band compensation…hints at identity of Maxar multi-satellite orderer

Intelsat, one of the primary FSS operators globally, announced on 13 May that it had entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy Read more

OneWeb files for Chapter 11 after its failure to raise finance is blamed on COVID-19

OneWeb LLC, a major player in the nascent LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite communications market, put itself into Chapter 11 Read more

SpaceX Falcon 9 wins Intelsat 40e launch order

SpaceX is looking ahead of the Coronavirus outbreak as it lands yet another launch contract. The global communications satellite operator Read more

Categories

Archives