Advanced Television

space tug

Thales Alenia wins space tug contract

The Thales Alenia Space consortium has been awarded a significant €235 million contract from Italy’s Space Agency to design and build an in-orbit satellite servicing craft, or space tug, to enter service in 2026. The object is to use the new craft to refuel an orbiting satellite. The new contract follows on from the European […]

May 16, 2023By Chris Forrester

Satellite electrical propulsion to grow

It isn’t so very long ago that electrical propulsion for satellites was a very new kid on the block. Boeing’s Xenon-Ion Propulsion System (XIPS) was introduced on the (then) Hughes 702 versions its high-power versions of its popular HS-702 craft and used for final orbital insertion. December 1999 saw the launch of an HS-702 with […]

May 10, 2023

Intelsat orders another space tug rescue

Intelsat has ordered a Mission Extension Pod (MEP) from Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics, which will add life to an Intelsat satellite and provide uninterrupted services to many customers. The MEP jet pack often referred to as a ‘space tug’ will be installed by SpaceLogistics’ mission robotic vehicle (MRV) on an Intelsat satellite operating in geosynchronous orbit, […]

April 14, 2023By Chris Forrester

Exotrail wins landmark rescue mission

In a contract worth several million euros, Exotrail is the in-orbit logistics operator the French major space institutions have selected to ensure capacity for satellites transferring into low Earth orbit (LEO). In 2021, the French government announced a national investment and stimulus package (France 2030), which included €1 billion to support emerging French space companies. […]

October 12, 2022

Sherpa to rescue orbiting satellite

Spaceflight specialises in building so-called ‘space tugs’. These are satellites that can recover and transport orbiting craft which, for example, might be low on fuel. Spaceflight had one of its Sherpa craft launched on September 4th on a SpaceX rocket mission. The company’s fifth craft, a Sherpa-LTC (which is the first chemical-powered version) and already […]

September 5, 2022