The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency tapped Northrop Grumman in March as its commercial partner for the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program and Northrop CEO and 2020 Wash100 awardee Kathy Warden said the program could help broaden on-orbit servicing capabilities, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
“It opens up the market in that regard and clearly is an indicator that we would be able to service not only commercial but potentially government satellites as well,“ Warden said Wednesday during the company's first quarter earnings call. “When we look at the market, we are bullish but cautious in that this is the first of a kind.“
She also expressed optimism on the demand for life extension support services as demonstrated with Mission Extension Vehicle 1. “Life extension servicing, which we have already accomplished with the Intelsat satellite, is something we feel comfortable will be a robust and growing market for us.“
Northrop reported $8.62B in total sales during the first quarter, up 5 percent from the prior-year period, and saw its Q1 net earnings grow 1 percent to $868M.