Michael Sheetz+ Your Authors @thesheetztweetz Space Reporter @CNBC | pitches [email protected] | DM for cell, WhatsApp, Signal, ProtonMail | formerly @DJNF @ESTribune | alumnus @TheKingsCollege Apr. 17, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

For the first time ever a robotic spacecraft caught an old satellite and extended its life.

Intelsat IS-901 was launched in June 2001 and is years beyond its intended lifespan – but Northrop Grumman's MEV-1 successfully docked and returned it to service:  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/northrop-grumman-mev-1-spacecraft-services-intelsat-901-satellite.html 

This animation shows how MEV-1 approached IS-901, docked, and then moved the satellite into its new orbit where it will provide services for another 5 years.

Northrop Grumman's SpaceLogistics built MEV-1, with Aerojet Rocketdyne providing the propulsion.

Here are some bonus infrared images of MEV-1's approach to IS-901:

What's next in on-orbit servicing? Intelsat has a contract with Northrop Grumman for an MEV-2, with plans to service Intelsat’s 1002 satellite later this year.  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/northrop-grumman-mev-1-spacecraft-services-intelsat-901-satellite.html 

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