- Satellite Evolution Group
SpaceLogistics signs launch SpaceX agreement and first mission extension pod contract with Optus
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s SpaceLogistics has announced a launch agreement for its Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV) spacecraft, and the sale of its first Mission Extension Pod (MEP).
Under the launch agreement, SpaceX will provide launch services for a planned spring 2024 launch of the MRV and several MEPs. Optus, Australia’s largest satellite owner and operator, recently completed a purchase agreement with SpaceLogistics for installation of one of the MEPs on its D3 satellite in 2025.
“Our contracts with SpaceX and Optus are tangible evidence of our momentum and commitment to deliver second-generation on-orbit servicing technologies to the satellite industry,” said Vice President of Business Development for SpaceLogistics Joseph Anderson. “We are thrilled to have Optus as our premier MEP customer as we continue pioneering the future of space and expanding the realm of what is possible with on-orbit servicing and sustainment.”
The launch will mark the first time a robotic-capable spacecraft will ascend into space to provide persistent robotic servicing capabilities in geostationary orbit (GEO). The MRV will perform a series of on-orbit tests of its robotic-arm payload as it carries out its primary mission, installing MEPs on commercial satellites. The MEP, a small customer-owned, customer-controlled propulsion augmentation device, can provide six years of life extension for a typical 2,000 kg satellite in GEO.
“Optus’ partnership with SpaceLogistics will leverage their cutting edge MRV & MEP capability to increase the life of Optus’ D3 satellite. This innovative move along with the future launch of Optus 11 will benefit our customers.” said Ben White, managing director, wholesale, satellite and strategy at Optus.