Orbital ATK sues to stop U.S. government satellite-servicing mission

by Peter B. de Selding

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been funding a program to service satellites in geostationary orbit. NASA has a similar program for low Earth orbit. Operating separately, the two agencies have funded preliminary work by satellite builder Space Systems/Loral. Meanwhile, Orbital ATK has been largely self-financing its Mission Extension Vehicle to refuel aging but otherwise healthy satellites in geostationary orbit. It has a contract with Intelsat to debut the service in 2018 and booked a commercial launch. Orbital says DARPA's work is in direct competition with what Orbital is doing and as . . .

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