The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen SpaceLogistics for the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) programme.

SpaceLogistics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman and will serve as a commercial partner for the robotic servicing of satellites.

The main objectives of the RSGS programme include in-orbit repair, conduct thorough inspection, assembly, augmentation, and client satellites’ relocation.

DARPA will deliver the robotics payload, which will include two dexterous robotic manipulator arms, along with several tools and sensors.

The US Naval Research Laboratory has developed and integrated the payload for the Space Logistics Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV).

The MRV will use technologies developed for the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV).

Launched in October 2019, the Northrop Grumman-built MEV-1 completed the first docking in a geosynchronous orbit with an Intelsat satellite.

The MRV will deploy platforms such as the new Mission Extension Pods on existing in-orbit commercial and government client satellites.

These will be installed in a bid to extend the mission lives of the satellites.

SpaceLogistics president Tom Wilson said: “Our selection as DARPA’s commercial partner expands our leadership in space logistics.

“The new robotics technology on this mission advances our vision to build a fleet of satellite servicing vehicles that provide customers with a variety of options to select the type of life-extension or in-orbit repairs they need.”