MEV-2 is also not moving its satellite to a different orbit like MEV-1 did; instead it will act as a new engine and fuel tank to extend the spacecraft’s life. Demand for GEO life extension missions will grow to 75 satellites by 2030, according to a recent Northern Sky Research (NSR) forecast, representing a $3.2.
Last month, Spaceflight Inc. launched 16 payloads on board its Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-FX-1 on a SpaceX rocket to deliver them to a precise orbits, a first in LEO SSO orbit. And soon, a 2nd MEV from Northrop Grumman will latch on the Intelsat 10-02, solidifying the In-Orbit Servicing Market for Life Extension missions.
Servicing satellites in geosynchronous orbit is a “nascent industry” with significant future potential. Companies are weighing “service-or-replace trade-offs.” In an uncertain business climate, satellite manufacturers and operators are looking for new ways to manage their fleets, and might find life-extension services a compelling option. NSR in January published the industry’s first study on the in-orbit.