Northrop Grumman to launch new satellite service vehicle

Space Logistic, owned by Northrop Grumman, has announced its intention to launch an MRV (Mission Robotic Vehicle) designed to service satellites in 2024. Falcon 9 rocket will be used to launch it into orbit.

MRV (concept). Source: Northrop Grumman

The MRV is based on the technologies of the MEV space tug. It is designed to extend the service life of old satellites that have almost exhausted their fuel reserves. Recall that earlier an object of a strange shape was discovered on Mars. The MEV docks with the spacecraft, after that it uses its own engines to hold the spacecraft in a working position and subsequent post-mission disposal into a graveyard orbit. Northrop Grumman currently has two operational space tugs (MEV-1 и MEV-2) serving the Intelsat 901 and Intelsat 10-02 geostationary satellites.

MRV will be the next step in the development of orbital maintenance technologies. The total weight of the device will be 3000 kg. It will be equipped with three 400-kilogram autonomous MEP modules, which are equipped with its own engines and navigation system. It is planned that the MRV will approach spacecraft and install modules on them with the help of a robotic “hand”. The fuel reserves on board the MEP will be enough for six years to retain a 2,000-kilogram satellite at a given geostationary position.

The launch of the MRV is scheduled for 2024, a SpaceX rocket will be used for this. The first user of the new service will be the Australian satellite operator Optus, which has already signed a contract with SpaceLogistics.

According to