The two spacecraft, making up the Integrated Payload Stack, weighed 5,190 kg at liftoff, and were separated 15 hours, 36 minutes (EUTELSAT 5 WestB and 15 hours, 54 minutes (MEV-1) after liftoff. Operators at the Northrop Grumman operations centre in Dulles, Virginia acquired the spacecraft’s first telemetry from orbit shortly after separation.
EUTELSAT 5 West B is a Ku-band satellite that will be located at 5° West, a key video neighbourhood addressing predominantly French, Italian and Algerian broadcast markets. The new satellite will provide business continuity and improved quality for these markets via a Ku band payload of 35 equivalent 36 MHz transponders connected to three service areas. Switchable transponders will also increase commercial flexibility.
MEV-1 will deliver a groundbreaking on-orbit servicing satellite life-extension through Northrop Grumman’s wholly-owned subsidiary SpaceLogistics LLC. MEV-1 will dock to client vehicles in geosynchronous orbit to provide attitude and orbit control of the combined vehicle stack. MEV-1 has the ability to dock and undock several times during its 15 year design life, allowing it to service multiple customers. SpaceLogistics LLC’s initial service, using MEV-1, will extend the life of the Intelsat 901 satellite for five years.