Satellite ‘space tug’ gets approval

An Intelsat-backed scheme to service one of its older orbiting satellites has been given an outline go-ahead by the FCC.

The reported plan is for satellite builder Orbital-ATK to deploy its Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1) spacecraft in a test mission with a satellite which has already reached its end-of-life.

The target satellite is Intelsat-901, which launched back in June 2001 with an in-service life of some 13 years.  The satellite is now some 16 years old and has been replaced in orbit. Trade newspaper Space News reported December 12th that MEV-1 could be orbiting in 2019 following a launch along with Eutelsat’s 5WB craft.

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