What’s next for Space Logistics was the topic of seminar by David Pile, Regional Director UK, Europe & MENA at Northrop Grumman Space at Space-Comm Expo.

Northrop Grumman has worked since the dawn of the space age providing expertise to missions which span every sector. The company helps government, civil and commercial customers tackle some of their biggest challenges, from global security to space discovery.

The company’s Antares rocket successfully lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia on Tuesday (August 10), marking Northrop Grumman’s 16th commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station. More than 8,000 pounds of cargo is set to arrive at the ISS today (Thursday August 12) following the 36 hour flight.

During the seminar, delegates heard that the company’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) 1 & 2 had opened up the Space Logistics sector. The session included a review of the MEV missions and a discussion on the planned next steps.

Extending the life of orbiting spacecraft

Pile also described some of the ways the company is extending the scope and life of spacecraft currently in orbit. “For a spacecraft that’s running out of fuel, we basically put a jet pack on the back – so a second satellite which has got fuel onboard, and then the two satellites join together, and that extends the life for a number of years.”

Pile said industry and other sectors were waking up to the possibilities offered by space – “there’s so much interest in space and across the world and that drives through to space programmes and capabilities.”

He added: “Our customers want us to provide our space capabilities, so the challenge is always, how can we satisfy all the customers for the things they want?”

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter