Northrop Grumman’s Space Logistics outlines plans for MRV satellite servicing mission in 2024

by | Mar 8, 2022 | commercial launch services, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX, Technology

SpaceLogistics, a subsidiary of American manufacturer Northrop Grumman, announced its plans for launching its  MRV satellite on 21 February. The MRV or Mission Robotic Vehicle is its next step in the evolution of its satellite servicing business. The company outlined that the first unit is planned to launch in 2024 through a launch agreement with SpaceX.

This mission will consist of one MRV unit, joined by three MEPs (Mission Extension Pod). These MEPs are attached to the customer satellite by the MRV and then take over propulsive responsibility for the spacecraft extending its in-orbit life. The company states that the client will own and operate the MEP on its satellite. The first customer identified for an MEP is Optus, the largest satellite operator in Australia. Reportedly, the target for the first MEP is the Optus D3 satellite which has been in-orbit since 2009 and will be at the end of its design life by the time of this launch. A possible coincidence is that Optus D3 is based on the GeoStar 2 platform from Northrop Grumman.

An Artist’s impression of an MRV with MEP approaching a commercial satellite. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman

 

SpaceLogistics has reported that it has customers lined-up for the other two MEPs however, it is declining to reveal them at this time.

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