London, 21 April 2023.- Intelsat, a multinational satellite services provider, announced they ordered a Mission Extension Pod (MEP) from Northrop Grumman Corporation’s SpaceLogistics, which will add life to an Intelsat satellite and provide uninterrupted services to many customers.
The MEP “jet pack” will be installed by SpaceLogistics’ mission robotic vehicle (MRV) on an Intelsat satellite operating in geosynchronous orbit. This is to ensure continuity of satellite service for at least six years beginning in 2026. Intelsat has not identified which satellite will be serviced. Both the MEP and MRV have completed critical design reviews, are in assembly and testing, and are proceeding toward launch.
“Intelsat is committed to safe and sustainable stewardship of space,” says Bruno Fromont, Intelsat Chief Technology Officer. “Intelsat successfully led the industry four years ago with the first in-orbit servicing of satellites in cooperation with Northrop Grumman. The new MEP will also ensure the Intelsat mission of providing the most reliable service to our customers.”
This recent purchase continues Intelsat’s legacy of space sustainability first initiated in 2020 when SpaceLogistics’ Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1) performed the first-ever in-orbit commercial spacecraft docking with Intelsat 901 (IS-901), extending its life for another five years. In 2021, a second Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-2) began providing similar life-extension services for Intelsat 10-02.