The satellite MEV-2 ‘rescue tug’ activity in orbit, which garnered plenty of publicity for Intelsat on April 12th, was also a mission extension for Norway’s Telenor Satellite and its Thor 10-02 craft. Telenor and Intelsat jointly own the satellite.
Oslo-based Telenor Satellite, which delivers connectivity solutions for all maritime segments operating throughout the EMEA and North Atlantic regions, has announced the successful docking of Northrop Grumman’s MEV-2 (Mission Extension Vehicle) with its Thor 10-02 satellite.
Morten Tengs, CEO of Telenor Satellite, said: “This is a ground-breaking project and we are pleased to be a part of its success. Delivering exceptional satellite connectivity to our clients is our primary focus, and as a result of this historic mission, we will continue to serve our maritime and offshore customers with the critical connectivity solutions they depend on.”
The Thor 10-02 satellite, jointly owned with Intelsat (Intelsat IS-10-02), was first launched in 2004 and continuing to carry thousands of vital communication links to vessels navigating across busy shipping lanes and operating in remote offshore fields, as well as delivering connectivity for broadcasting and land-based services in remote locations. The prospect of preserving the operation of these links made it an obvious choice for this technology, and the companies are the first commercial satellite operators to perform on-orbit servicing of an active satellite in geosynchronous orbit.
The MEV-2 satellite docked directly onto the communications satellite, effectively providing the space equivalent of a jetpack and so extending the operational life of Thor 10-02/IS-10-02. The MEV-2 has now taken over control of both the orbit and pointing of the satellite and will continue to do so until the satellite is eventually retired in approximately five years.