There are about 16 thousand objects in Earth's orbit, which are commonly called space debris. These are failed satellites, spent rocket stages, waste and technological elements formed during launches and destruction of spacecraft. All of them pose a threat to more than 2,000 active satellites. Northrop Grumman and NASA volunteered to help solve the problem.
Scientists have yet to solve the problem of waste disposal. As reported, the mission of Northrop Grumman and NASA is to extend the life of existing satellites. This will be handled by the space service vessel Northrop as part of the MeV-1 mission. The first such vessel is expected to dock with the Intelsat satellite in three months, helping it continue to operate for five years. After that, it will be able to supply other devices for 10 years.
The next stage will be the launch of MEV-2 in 2020. It will have the same service life as the first sample. According to representatives of Northrop Grumman, their service vessel is able to dock with 80% of modern geostationary satellites, even if they did not initially provide such a possibility.
If the MEV program gains momentum, NASA will begin offering its services to owners of other satellites in the future. The Agency is working on its own technology for servicing objects in earth orbit.