At SATELLITE 2020 in Washington D.C., Northrop Grumman’s Joseph Anderson talked about the company’s planned second in-orbit servicing mission. This follows the recent successful docking of MEV-1 (Mission Extension Vehicle) and its target Intelsat 901 in the GEO graveyard. MEV-1 will shortly be manoeuvring the combined stack back into the GEO belt to begin its five-year life extension contract.
Mr Anderson mentioned tht the upcoming launch of the second MEV unit will take place in late-2020. This second unit has also been contracted by Intelsat, and is targeting their Intelsat 10-02 satellite orbiting at 1 degree West. MEV-2 is to be launched as part of a triple sat mission – alongside BSAT 4B and Galaxy 30 – on-board an Arianespace Ariane 5.
Unlike its predecessor (MEV-1), MEV-2 has been cleared by Northrop Grumman to conduct its docking manoeuvre in-situ, in the GEO belt. Following analysis of the MEV-1 docking the company is confident that this second docking will be as successful as the first. It was said that Intelsat may not even have to pause providing service from their satellite whilst the MEV attaches itself to its target.