MEV-1 Docks with Intelsat 901

Northrop Grumman completed the first docking of a Mission Extension Vehicle with its target, and the photos are wonderful.

MEV-1 Approaches Intelsat 901

This docking took place in the graveyard orbit, 300 kilometers above the geostationary belt. Sounds like they have some checkouts to do with the combined stack before bringing Intelsat 901 back into the belt. Apparently the docking operations went so well that MEV-2 will be able to dock in the GEO belt without interrupting any other satellites.

I’m excited to see how Mission Extension Vehicles do in the market. I think they’ve got a viable path forward, especially given how MEVs can stack with other satellites during launch. That offsets a major mission cost, and if they can truly get 15 years of service out of a single MEV, they could make some really good money with each one.

And on the off chance that OmegA wins a piece of the National Security Space Launch program, their MEV offerings could get even more lucrative.