Orbital ATK has announced that it is producing a new version of a satellite life extension vehicle. The motive behind it is to provide more flexibility to customers. Also, make the company better in-space servicing.
At the Satellite 2018 conference, the executives also made a declaration regarding the development of Mission Robotic Vehicle and Mission Extension Pods. These shall be proficient to handle stationkeeping for geostationary satellites that are running out of fuel. The new systems are based on the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV). As per the new approach the Mission Robotic Vehicle shall approach a customer’s satellite and use a robotic arm to attach a pod to that satellite. The Mission Robotic Vehicle and Mission Extension Pods will offer solutions to customers that don’t require the full-fledged capabilities of the MEV. The new system shall be ready for service by 2021. This is apt time when Orbital ATK has announced this new version of satellite. Presently, Effective Space Solutions is developing its Space Drone spacecraft; Space Systems Loral (SSL) is working on the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is developing a vehicle capable of refueling and repairing GEO spacecraft. Orbital ATK has sold two MEVs to Intelsat, one of which shall launch this year itself.
By: Anuja Arora