Northrop’s servicing robot has extended the lifespan of an orbiting satellite by five years

Intelst’s IS-10-02 communications satellite has been running low on fuel – it has been in orbit since 2004, after all, and has already surpassed its original mission in five years. Thanks Northrop Grummans Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) But it has gained another five years of life and will remain active instead of losing. MEVV-2 was launched in August and has been in geo-synchronous orbit since then. On Monday, it caught on to its target and clamped on it, supplying more fuel to IS-10-02.

According to TechCrunch, A representative described the robotic spacecraft as a “10-02 satellite jetpack”. The spokesperson explained the docking process below:

The MEV-2 docking system has a probe that we use to enter the liquid opposition engine at the end of the satellite. The engine acts as a “capture-to-shock” that once passes through the engine’s throat for a search guide and extends to capture the client satellite. In contrast, three stachians or raced dragged by the legs, safely clamping the two cars together. “

This Mark For the first time the life-extension service vehicle was able to dock with an active satellite in the GEO orbital position of its operation. Predecessor of MEV-2, MEV-2, Clamped at IS-901 of Intelst last year. This satellite was already out of fuel and although it was then out of its original orbit. E.g. TechCrunch Notes, Northrop Grumman had to make sure that the MEV-2 approach would not disrupt the operation and orbit of his target. By doing this successfully, the space agency has proven that it is possible to service active satellites, which means companies can save millions of lives by extending the life of their old space content.

MEVV-2 will stay with IS-10-02 before extending the life of any other satellite. In addition to MEVs, the company is working on robotic vehicles that can repair, enhance, assemble and inspect orbits. All of those vehicles will be used to provide life-enhancing pods on satellites to extend their mission life without the need for docking with their targets. Northrop Grumman hopes to launch these two technologies by 2024.

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