Intelsat places new order with Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics

Intelsat, a major operator of satellite and terrestrial networks, has placed an order with SpaceLogistics, a division of Northrop Grumman Corporation, for its second Mission Extension Pod (MEP).
Intelsat satellite businessThis move aims to extend the lifespan of an Intelsat satellite, ensuring uninterrupted services for numerous customers.

The recent contract marks the fourth collaboration between Intelsat and SpaceLogistics, following the procurement of a single MEP in April 2023 and the deployment of two Mission Extension Vehicles (MEVs) that are currently operational with Intelsat satellites.

Intelsat’s Chief Technology Officer, Bruno Fromont, emphasized the company’s commitment to space sustainability, with SpaceLogistics playing a vital role in this endeavor. Fromont stated that Intelsat continually seeks ways to provide exceptional services to customers while acting as responsible custodians of the space environment.

The Mission Extension Pod, often referred to as a “jet pack,” will be integrated into an undisclosed Intelsat satellite operating in geosynchronous orbit. SpaceLogistics’ mission robotic vehicle (MRV) will carry out the installation, ensuring the satellite’s service continuity for a minimum of six years, starting as early as 2026. Both the MEP and MRV have completed critical design reviews and are undergoing assembly and testing in preparation for launch.

This recent acquisition marks the second order from Intelsat this year, solidifying their commitment to space sustainability, a principle first established in 2020 when SpaceLogistics’ Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1) achieved the first-ever commercial spacecraft docking in orbit with Intelsat 901 (IS-901).

The mission extended the operational life of IS-901 by an additional five years. In 2021, a second Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-2) began providing similar life-extension services for Intelsat 10-02.

Rob Hauge, President of SpaceLogistics, expressed satisfaction with the ongoing partnership between Intelsat and SpaceLogistics, highlighting their extensive collaboration spanning over five years of in-space servicing facilitated by the two Mission Extension Vehicles.