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The satellite servicing sector is advocating for the inception of the interfaces standards on satellites

Even as the space industry prepares to launch another satellite into space, the commercial customers and operators in this industry are hoping to stipulate irreducible minimums below which a spacecraft will go back to the drawing board.

Northrop Grumman’s MEV 2 mission will be heading for space on Ariane 5 rocket. The mission was initially slated for June before the lousy weather, and technical malfunctions halted the launch. Other hosts that will be enjoying the Ariane 5 rocket services include Intelsat’s Galaxy 30 and the BSAT-4b satellites, which will be venturing the low-Earth orbit.

MEV-2 will service Intelsat 10-02 spacecraft to increase the lifespan of the Intelsat satellite. The two firms have been in a collaborative mood with another similar mission being launched earlier this year. 

The MEV space vehicle will help the satellite safely enter its orbit after detaching from the GEO linkage. Joseph Anderson states that the MEV procurement director is lucky to offer satellite servicing to Intelsat’s communications satellite. He adds that the MEV is suitable for these congruent tasks of deploying payloads to their orbits since the vehicle’s attachment engineering can link with different engines.

Intelsat’s vice president of space systems engineering, Jean-Luc Froeliger, reminded Northrop Grumman’s innovation department to integrate the electric attachment system into the MEV. This move is considering that future trends will favor the transition to fully electric propulsion systems.

Anderson anticipates a future where the satellites will be moving along with their interconnection devices to enable the servicing vehicles to land appropriately on them. He explained that this system would help lengthen a satellite’s lifetime, given that their lifespans deteriorate with the various inevitable servicing procedures.

The CEO of Altius Space Machines, Jonathan Goff, stated that the introduction of standard linkage devices on the satellites would minimize the manual handling of the vital components like communication signals on the payloads. This move will help engineers focus on developing other projects rather than rethinking the administration of the satellite in the GEO after deployment.

Jonathan hopes that the move to adopt the standard interface in the industry becomes aggressive as the way companies compete for funding contracts. For this reason, Altius will be convincing OneWeb to attach the interface to its satellites before launching them in the upcoming launches.

To sum up, the lead satellite servicing engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Ben Reed, supported this idea saying that all space industry stakeholders should participate in the standardization of the satellite interface. He said that this move would allow the inception of innovative ideas on the development of the interface rather than allow the government to frustrate this good idea by inducing competition for contracts.