Orbital ATK Unveils New Satellite Servicing Vehicle Written 15 March 2018

Space News reports that Tuesday at the Satellite 2018 conference, Orbital ATK “company executives announced plans to develop the Mission Robotic Vehicle and Mission Extension Pods, which would handle stationkeeping for geostationary satellites that are running out of fuel.” The new offerings are intended to “provide more flexibility to customers while also moving the company closer to more advanced in-space servicing.” The systems are based on Orbital ATK’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV), which will dock with satellites and assume maneuvering responsibility, “including stationkeeping as well as relocation and disposal into graveyard orbits.” As part of a new strategy, Mission Robotic Vehicles will carry between 10 and 12 Mission Extension Pods, approaching customer satellites and using a “robotic arm to attach a pod to that satellite,” which would then “take over stationkeeping, proving up to five years of additional life.” The systems would provide solutions for customers that “don’t need the full-fledged capabilities of the MEV,” including attitude control. The new systems are to be available for service in 2021.
More Info (Space News)