The Mission Extension Vehicle designed to extend the life of the Intelsat 10-02 satellite has been successfully launched on the Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana.
Ariane 5 Flight VA253 took off on August 15 at 22.04 UTC. In addition to SpaceLogistics’ MEV-2 the payload also included Galaxy 30 for Intelsat and BSAT-4b, built by Maxar Technologies for the Japanese operator B-SAT.
“Arianespace is delighted to have served two loyal customers – Intelsat and B-SAT – as well as Northrop Grumman’s subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC,” declared Stéphane Israël, the Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace. “As part of this mission, three satellites were deployed by the most powerful Ariane 5 ever launched, thus demonstrating the competitiveness of our launch solutions and our capability for continuous innovation.”
MEV-2 will carry out its work on Intelsat 10-02 early in 2021. It’s not anticipated to have any major disruption for clients, which include Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, as part of its 1 West constellation serving the Nordics and Central and East Europe.
“Today’s launch was especially important for Intelsat because Northrop Grumman’s innovative MEV-2 launched alongside Galaxy 30,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “Intelsat was proud to partner with Northrop Grumman earlier this year to pioneer the future of in-space servicing with MEV-1 and our Intelsat 901 satellite. We’re looking forward to this next exciting servicing mission with Intelsat 10-02.”
Galaxy 30 is the first satellite in Intelsat’s Galaxy fleet refresh plan and will replace Galaxy 14 at 125 degrees west once it is in service in early 2021.
The satellite serves the US cable sector.
BSAT-4b will be used for Ultra-High-Definition (UHD, 4K and 8K) direct-to-home television broadcasting across Japan, in conjunction with its twin, BSAT-4a, launched by Arianespace in 2017.