Intelsat, Starfish Space Reach Deal for Satellite Servicing
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This news is classified in: Defense Aerospace Communications Space

Jun 28, 2024

Intelsat, Starfish Space Reach Deal for Satellite Servicing Mission

Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, signed a contract for a Starfish Otter servicing vehicle to provide life extension services to an Intelsat geostationary satellite, beginning in 2026. This landmark agreement reinforces Intelsat’s commitment to utilizing satellite servicing technologies to maximize the value its satellites can provide to customers and will mark Starfish’s first mission to provide services to a commercial satellite operator with Otter.

“For six decades, Intelsat has shown commitment to innovation and leveraging new technologies from throughout the industry,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, Intelsat’s Senior Vice President of Space Systems. “By engaging with emerging ventures, we create unique value for Intelsat while fostering a dynamic and competitive environment that drives advancement in space systems. Starfish is the perfect example of this kind of progress, and we look forward to utilizing the services provided by their Otter satellite to maximize the value the world’s largest geostationary satellite fleet can deliver for our customers.”

Intelsat has been a pioneer of extending satellite missions, signing its first agreement for satellite life extension in 2016, and procuring multiple additional life extension missions in recent years. The contract between Intelsat and Starfish represents a significant step for both companies, expanding the market for satellite servicing, and pushing the industry towards a new paradigm for satellite operations. With its Otter spacecraft, Starfish Space utilizes a small satellite architecture and breakthrough hardware and software technologies to provide rapid, flexible, and cost-effective on-orbit servicing missions for satellites.

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Starfish will begin its first servicing mission for Intelsat in 2026. Initially, Otter will dock with and maneuver a retired Intelsat satellite in geostationary graveyard orbit. Following this initial operation, Otter will proceed to dock with and provide life extension service to an operational Intelsat satellite, using its onboard propulsion system to keep the client satellite in operational orbit for additional years of life.

“Starfish Space is delighted to be supporting Intelsat with services provided by Otter,” said Dr. Trevor Bennett, Co-Founder of Starfish Space. “They are an incredible team at the forefront of the industry and the Otter will help them deliver even more to their customers. We’re also excited that this will be the first of many Otters that will make on-orbit servicing a standard part of satellite operations.”



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