Northrop Grumman and NASA will be launching a “first-of-its-kind” refueling vessel, the Mission Extension Vehicle, shipped on a Russian rocket on October 9th.
The MEV-I will dock with the Intelsat satellite in three months and will add fuel which will keep the satellite in service for five more years. After refueling the Intelsat satellite it will refuel other satellites as it will have fuel for 10 more years.
In 2020, MEV-II will refuel another Intelsat satellite and will have the same amount of fuel left to refuel other satellites since both MEV-I and MEV-II are flexible so they can be docked with 80% of the current geostationary satellites in the space.
If everything goes well NASA could purchase its service for future use because NASA is currently working on its own in-orbit service tech, such as refueling for satellites in low-Earth orbit.
The launch will take place on 9 October at 15:17 in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan (10:17 GMT / 12:17 CET / 06:17 EDT).