Intelsat, Starfish Space Reach Deal for Satellite Servicing Mission

The first commercial Otter servicing vehicle will provide years of life extension starting in 2026

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June 27, 2024 15:55 Korea Standard Time
  • Starting in 2026, Starfish Space’s Otter will dock with a retired Intelsat satellite during a checko...

    Starting in 2026, Starfish Space’s Otter will dock with a retired Intelsat satellite during a checkout campaign before maneuvering to dock with and service one of Intelsat’s operational satellites. (Courtesy: Starfish Space).

MCLEAN, VA.--(Business Wire / Korea Newswire)--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.

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.”

About Intelsat

Intelsat’s global team of professionals is focused on providing seamless and secure, satellite-based communications to government, NGO and commercial customers through the company’s next-generation worldwide network and managed services. Bridging the digital divide by operating one of the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructures, Intelsat enables people and their tools to speak over oceans, see across continents and listen through the skies to communicate, cooperate and coexist. Since its founding six decades ago, the company has been synonymous with satellite-industry “firsts” in service to its customers and the planet. Leaning on a legacy of innovation and focusing on addressing a new generation of challenges Intelsat team members now have their sights on the “next firsts” in space as they disrupt the field and lead in the digital transformation of the industry.

About Starfish Space

Starfish Space is developing the Otter servicing vehicle to extend the lives of satellites in geostationary orbit and dispose of space debris in low-Earth orbit. Starfish has secured contracts for its first Otter missions with Intelsat and the U.S. Space Force, two of the largest global satellite operators. The company launched its Otter Pup demonstration mission in June 2023 and is now delivering on several satellite RPOD missions including its Otter mission for Intelsat. For more information, please visit

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Melissa Longo
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This is a news release distributed by Korea Newswire on behalf of this company.