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TECH SPACE
SES and MDA Announce First Satellite Life Extension Agreement
by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (SPX) Jun 29, 2017


SES to be first customer on refuelling spacecraft built by SSL- Credit: SSL

SES and MDA, a global communications and information company, has announced an agreement for an initial satellite life extension mission using an on-orbit refuelling vehicle being built by SSL, a US based subsidiary of MDA and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems.

SES will be the first commercial customer to benefit from the satellite refuelling service, and will be able to activate the service whenever required with minimal disruption to spacecraft operation. The agreement also includes an option for further life extension missions.

SES will work with a new venture, Space Infrastructure Services (SIS), which will commercialise sophisticated satellite servicing capabilities. SIS has contracted SSL to design and build the highly-capable satellite servicing spacecraft vehicle to meet the needs of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) programme, which is designed to inspect, repair, relocate and augment geosynchronous satellites and plans to include a refuelling payload to extend the life of satellites that are low on propellant.

"Satellite in-orbit servicing is of upmost importance to next-generation architectures for communications satellites. It enables satellite operators like us to have more flexibility in managing our fleet and meeting our customers' demands," said Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES.

"After witnessing the due diligence of SSL's and MDA's technical expertise, we are confident that its new venture is the best partner in the refuelling mission field, and will be able to help SES get more value out of an on-orbit satellite."

"As a pioneer in next-generation fleet capabilities, SES is clearly committed to improving the space and satellite ecosystem," said Howard L. Lance, President and CEO at MDA. "We are very pleased to have this refuelling contract with SES and are excited to provide them with more options in fleet management."

The satellite servicing spacecraft vehicle is planned for launch in 2021.

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D-Sat, the first nanosatellite with the ability to remove itself from orbit in a direct and controlled way through a dedicated device at the end of its mission, was successfully launched on Friday June 23rd, 2017, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India atop a PSLV rocket. The satellite, built and operated by D-Orbit LLC, is the first in-orbit demonstration of D-Orbit Decommissioning Devi ... read more

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