Company on Track to Launch Mission Extension Vehicle-1 in Late 2018
DULLES, Va.Sep. 11, 2017--
Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced significant progress on the industry s
first commercial in-space satellite servicing system. The Mission
Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) spacecraft successfully completed its
critical design review earlier this year and is now in production with
about 75% of the platform and payload components already delivered to
the company s Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Virginia. The
spacecraft will begin system-level testing in spring 2018 with launch
planned late next year. MEV-1 will provide satellite life extension
services to its anchor customer, Intelsat S.A., beginning in early 2019.
Orbital ATK's MEV-1 spacecraft will extend the lives of useful satellites and is scheduled to launch next year. (Photo: Business Wire)
Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Space Logistics LLC, Orbital ATK
will introduce in-orbit commercial satellite servicing with MEV-1 which
is based on the company s GEOStarTM spacecraft platform.
Controlled by the company s satellite operations team, the MEV-1 uses a
reliable, low-risk docking system that attaches to existing features on
a customer s satellite. The MEV-1 provides life-extending services by
taking over the orbit maintenance and attitude control functions of the
client s spacecraft. The vehicle has a 15-year design life with the
ability to perform numerous dockings and repositionings during its life
The start of assembly of MEV-1 means that in-orbit satellite servicing
will soon become a reality, said Tom Wilson, President of Space
Logistics. MEV-1 will be the first spacecraft of its kind to offer this
innovative service. This is just the first step toward introducing even
more advanced space logistics capabilities in the future.
Work on the spacecraft spans multiple locations across the company.
Orbital ATK s spacecraft components division is manufacturing the
structures, propellant tanks and solar arrays for MEV-1 at locations in
San Diego and Goleta, California. Additionally, the Rendezvous,
Proximity Operations and Docking (RPOD) laboratory located at the
company s headquarters in Dulles, Virginia, is testing the sensors,
actuators and control algorithms which allow for the tracking, approach
and docking with a client spacecraft.
Intelsat has a strong track record of incorporating innovative
satellite technologies into its global operations, and MEV-1 will
further those efforts, said Ken Lee, Intelsat s Senior Vice President
of Space Systems. In-orbit servicing will enhance our flexibility,
responsiveness to market opportunities and provide additional robustness
to our global fleet. With Orbital ATK, we have the right approach and a
partner that fully understands the needs of our customers.
MEV-1 will launch as a co-passenger with the Eutelsat 5WB satellite,
also built by Orbital ATK.
Orbital ATK s longer-range plan is to establish a fleet of in-orbit
servicing vehicles that can address diverse space logistics needs
including repair, assembly, refueling and in-space transportation. In
addition to its commercial life extension services, the company is
working closely with U.S. government agencies to develop key
technologies to support these services, such as advanced robotics and
high-power solar-electric propulsion.
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.
The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation
systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related
propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense
electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition;
satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced
aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK
employs approximately 13,000 people across the U.S. and in several
international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Kristen Basham, 703-404-7476
Lead Public Relations
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor Relations