Kepler choses SpaceX for nanosatellite launch

Kepler chooses SpaceX for nanosatellite launch

13 December 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Kepler Communications has selected SpaceX as its partner to launch a potion of its first Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation onboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

“Kepler looks forward to working with SpaceX to fulfil part of our 2020 launch plans. With this agreement, we are deploying our next-generation constellation on schedule, which will let us serve the growing demand,” said Mina Mitry, CEO of Kepler Communications. “We chose SpaceX as a launch partner and support their SmallSat Rideshare Program which is certainly a one-of-its-kind, exceeding expectations in terms of pricing and accommodation.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Kepler will have 400kg of launch capacity from SpaceX for the deployment of multiple satellites. It will mark the first time that the two companies are partnering for a LEO satellite deployment as well as the first use of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program, which will see the launch of multiple small spacecraft into sun-synchronous orbit (SSO).

”SpaceX is honoured Kepler chose our Falcon 9 rideshare program to launch a portion of its innovative nanosatellite constellation, which will help close global gaps in internet connectivity,” added Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. “SpaceX is looking forward to delivering these important spacecraft to orbit for Kepler.”

Once operational, the Kepler spacecraft incorporates both a high-capacity Ku-band communications system and a narrowband payload, for both high-speed data transfers and for low-power direct-to-satellite IoT connectivity.