May 8, 2022

30 years after Intelsat VI rescue, Northrop Grumman aims to make in-space servicing a permanent reality

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

On 7 May 1992, Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off on her first voyage at 23:40 UTC from Pad-B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Her target: Intelsat VI F-3 (now known as Intelsat 603). The goal: rendezvous with, repair, and re-release the satellite.

In the now-30 years since that mission, on-orbit satellite repair and servicing have largely languished — save for the five Hubble servicing missions Endeavour and the Shuttle fleet would conduct after STS-49.

Northrop Grumman now aims to change that in 2024 when their new Mission Robotic Vehicle and Mission Extension Pods begin launching to perform on-orbit satellite servicing and repairs.

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