Satellite-servicing space drones launch date set for 2020

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UK headquartered Effective Space and US-based global commercial launch services provider, International Launch Services (ILS), have announced their intentions to take operations out of this world.

The two organisations, working in partnership, have announced they plan to contract to deliver two of Effective Space’s Space Drone spacecrafts into orbit to service satellites. The Proton Breeze M rideshare launch is planned for 2020 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“ILS is focused on serving the satellite industry with flexible, and affordable launch solutions and our agreement with Effective Space is a perfect example of that. The performance of the Proton Breeze M vehicle to deliver the Space Drone spacecraft directly to geostationary orbit combined with our decades-long history of launching dual or multiple spacecraft at one time, makes it a natural fit for Proton to deploy their spacecraft,” said ILS President Kirk Pysher.

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The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle with the standard 4 meter payload fairing will launch the two spacecraft into a geostationary orbit. The Space Drone units will then use their on-board propulsion system to manoeuvre to their contracted life-extension mission locations, as recently announced.

The system is a 400-kilogram spacecraft that has a universal, non-intrusive docking system to rendezvous and dock to the geostationary host satellite.

Planned fleet expansion will see up to six units being sent to orbit on an annual basis. Future phases will see Space Drones spacecraft being launched to support low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations, Active-Debris-Removal (ADR) and other logistics in space.

Arie Halsband, founder and CEO of Effective Space, added: “Launching our first two Space Drone spacecraft into a geostationary orbit is part of our strong commitment to our first customer, meeting mission timeline and ensuring smooth transition into a life-extension service.”

Tags : DroneEffective SpaceILSInternational Launch Servicesspace droneunmanned systems
Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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