SpaceLogistics

SpaceLogistics

It's impossible to revive a satellite. Until it's not.

Two engineers assemble the Mission Extension Vehicle spacecraft inside of plant facility

What is SpaceLogistics?

SpaceLogistics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, provides cooperative space logistics and in-orbit satellite servicing to geosynchronous satellite operators using its fleet of commercial servicing vehicles—the Mission Extension Vehicle, the Mission Robotics Vehicle and the Mission Extension Pods.

Pioneering a New Market in Space

SpaceLogistics currently provides in-orbit satellite servicing to geosynchronous satellite operators using the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV)™ which docks with customers' existing satellites providing the propulsion and attitude control needed to extend their lives. This enables satellite operators to activate new markets, drive asset value and protect their franchises.


Our Life Extension Services

Mission Extension Vehicle

The Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1), the industry’s first satellite life extension vehicle, completed its first docking to a client satellite, Intelsat IS-901 on February 25, 2020. MEV is designed to dock to geostationary satellites whose fuel is nearly depleted. Once connected to its client satellite, MEV uses its own thrusters and fuel supply to extend the satellite’s lifetime. When the customer no longer desires MEV’s service, the spacecraft will undock and move on to the next client satellite.

The second Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-2) launched August 15, 2020 along with the Northrop Grumman-built Galaxy 30 satellite. MEV-2 will dock with the Intelsat IS-1002 satellite in early 2021.

Mission Extension Pods

Our next generation system, Mission Extension Pods, is a smaller and less expensive life extension service that only performs orbit control.

Mission Robotics Vehicle

The Mission Robotics Vehicle (MRV) is a robotic servicing vehicle that installs the MEPs. The MRV can perform all the functions of an MEV while adding new robotic capabilities for additional services.

Future Capabilities

Our vision is to establish a fleet of commercial servicing vehicles in GEO that can address most any servicing need. Northrop Grumman continues to make deep investments in in-orbit servicing and is working closely with U.S. Government agencies to develop the next generation space logistics technologies. These technologies include robotics and high-power solar electric propulsion to enable future services building upon our keep-it-simple approach to satellite life extension. These future services are expected to include:

  • Propellant augmentation,
  • Inspection and repair,
  • Replacement or enhancement of parts and systems,
  • Incorporation of auxiliary propulsion, navigation, power, payloads and other functions to enhance the performance or extend the satellite's life,
  • And in-orbit robotic assembly of space structures

Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites Program

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected SpaceLogistics as its commercial partner for the agency’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program. The groundbreaking mission will feature the first-ever commercial robotic servicing spacecraft and expand the market for satellite servicing of both commercial and government client satellites with advanced robotics technology. The enhanced capabilities include in-orbit repair, augmentation, assembly, detailed inspection and relocation of client satellites.

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MEV-1 Mission Profile

artist rendering satellite in orbit with MEV

Our SpaceLogistics services are specifically designed to fit customers' business models, as well as their technical requirements. The simplicity and cost effectiveness of the service provides customers with access to new markets and new opportunities — and protects asset value. SpaceLogistics services provide operators with opportunities to improve financial performance, better manage cash flows, break down barriers to enter new markets and reduce risks by:

  • Propellant augmentation,
  • Inspection and repair,
  • Replacement or enhancement of parts and systems,
  • Incorporation of auxiliary propulsion, navigation, power, payloads and other functions to enhance the performance or extend the satellite's life,
  • And in-orbit robotic assembly of space structures

MEV in Action