Intelsat (NYSE: I) has announced that Intelsat 901 has returned to service following the successful docking with the first Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1) from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the company´s wholly owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, on February 25 — the first time that two commercial spacecraft docked in geostationary orbit, the company said.
Since the February rendezvous, MEV-1 has assumed navigation of the combined spacecraft Stack reducing its inclination by 1.6° and relocating IS-901 to its new orbital location. Intelsat then transitioned roughly 30 of its commercial and government customers to the satellite on April 2. The transition of service took approximately six hours. IS-901 is now operating at the 332.5°E orbital slot and providing full service to Intelsat customers.
Intelsat views life-extension services, like MEV technology, as a cost-effective and efficient way to minimize service disruptions, enhance the overall flexibility of its satellite fleet and better support the evolving needs of its customers.
Under the terms of the contract, Northrop Grumman and SpaceLogistics will provide five years of life extension services to IS-901 before returning the spacecraft to a final decommissioned orbit. MEV-1 will then be available to provide additional mission extension services for new clients including orbit raising, inclination corrections and inspections. Intelsat has already also contracted with Northrop Grumman for a second MEV (MEV-2) to service Intelsat 1002 satellite later this year.
As the foundational architects of satellite technology, Intelsat operates the world´s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructure. Learn more at www.intelsat.com.