In June 2017, Chinese satellite Shijian 17 (SJ-17) approached an active Chinese communications satellite, Chinasat 6A, for rendezvous and subsequent proximity operations. The two satellites got as close as 1.67 km on July 1, 2017.
From early November to late December, 2021, Chinese satellite SJ-21 maintained a close distance with a space object labeled by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron as the satellite’s apogee kick motor, SJ-21 AKM, while performing several maneuvers during a westward drift.
In the first and second week of February 2015, the Russian Luch (Olymp) satellite maneuvered to perform a close approach with a second Express AM satellite. This time, Luch maneuvered next to Express AM-33, a Russian communications satellite, getting as close as 10 km.
In late December 2014, Russian satellite Luch (Olymp) performed a month-long close approach with Russian communications satellite SESAT 2 (Express AM-22), getting as close as 7 km on January 31, 2015.
SpaceLogistics, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, developed a Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) to provide life extension services for client satellites. The MEV docks behind a client satellite and takes over maneuvering, using its own thrusters and fuel supply instead of the client’s. MEV-1 was launched into orbit on October 9, 2019, as a […]
From November 12 to December 28, 2016, Chinese satellite Shijian 17 (SJ-17) approached an active Chinese communications satellite, Chinasat 5A, for rendezvous and subsequent proximity operations. The two satellites got as close as 10 km before SJ-17 initiated a westward drift towards Chinasat 6A.
From October 24, 2017, to January 11, 2018, Russian satellite Luch (Olymp) approached an active French-Italian military communications satellite, getting as close as 12.5 km. The event was later condemned by the French defense minister.