Northrop Sets Potential Launch Date for 2nd Satellite Mission-Extension Vehicle


Northrop Grumman is planning to launch its second and latest satellite-servicing vehicle to geostationary orbit no earlier than July 31, NASA Spaceflight reported Friday.

The second Mission Extension Vehicle, which is designed to help prolong the operational life of satellites in orbit, is slated to launch aboard the Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket and rendezvous with Intelsat's 10-02 satellite in GEO.

Northrop intends to have MEV-2 directly approach 10-02 as the satellite continues to transmit telecommunications data, according to the report.

“Intelsat has confirmed their desire on the next MEV, MEV-2, to do the docking directly in GEO orbit,“ said Joe Anderson, vice president of business development and operations for Northrop's Space Logistics business.

“They will be maintaining customer traffic as we do the docking with MEV-2.“

In February, Northrop's MEV-1 docked with Intelsat 901 to decommission the satellite before returning it to its operational orbit as part of the mission-extension effort.

The company launched the first MEV in October.

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