A Northrop Grumman subsidiary has signed a launch agreement with SpaceX for its Mission Robotic Vehicle spacecraft and finalized a sales contract with Australia-based satellite operator Optus for its Mission Extension Pod.
SpaceLogistics has tapped SpaceX to help launch its MRV and several MEPs by the spring of 2024, Northrop said Monday.
SpaceLogistics’ MRV spacecraft is designed to provide robotic servicing capabilities by installing MEPs on commercial satellites in geostationary orbit. MEP is a propulsion augmentation device that can extend the lives of GEO satellites for another six years.
The sales agreement calls for the installation of a SpaceLogistics-built MEP on Optus’ D3 satellite in 2025.
“Our Optus contract represents our third service contract with commercial satellite providers, and with several signed term sheets in queue our installation manifest for MEPs is already full for 2025 and nearly full for 2026,” said Joseph Anderson, vice president of business development at SpaceLogistics.
SpaceLogistics completed preliminary design reviews of MRV and MEP in the fall of 2021. Both technologies are set to begin critical design reviews in 2022 and launch in 2024.
Since 2020, SpaceLogistics has been providing pointing control and propulsion to GEO satellites through its Mission Extension Vehicles, MEV-1 and MEV-2. With the new MRV, the company will expand on-orbit satellite servicing support by offering detailed robotic inspection, augmentation, repairs and relocation.