Mission Extension Vehicle refuels satellite. (Credit: Orbital ATK)
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — A first-of-its-kind spacecraft to extend another satellite’s life will be launched into orbit soon thanks in part to a partnership between Northrop Grumman and NASA. The spacecraft is called the Mission Extension Vehicle, or MEV, and its primary purpose is to extend the life of commercial satellites that are currently in a geostationary orbit around Earth.
The spacecraft was developed by Northrop Grumman for its wholly owned subsidiary Space Logistics LLC, with some technical assistance from NASA through a no-funds exchanged NASA partnership called Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities.
“NASA is helping private industry advance commercial space capabilities that could benefit the government and other customers through these partnerships,” said Phil McAlister, director of the commercial spaceflight division at NASA Headquarters. “Northrop Grumman did all the heavy lifting, but I am pleased that NASA was able to use its vast experience to help Northrop Grumman develop its satellite servicing capabilities. NASA’s assistance were in several technical areas including rendezvous and proximity operations, management of electro static discharges between vehicles, robotics operator training, improving electric propulsion development and more.”
A satellite launched into space can only bring ...