Kepler Communications announced today it has selected Innovative Space Logistics B.V. (ISL), part of the Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS) group of the Netherlands, as their launch contractor, and that their first satellite will launch on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket this November.
The Indian PSLV set a record for launching 104 satellites this past Tuesday evening and has become a reliable workhorse for lower cost launches.
SpaceQ contacted Kepler regarding their upcoming launch to get some additional details.
Originally Kepler had planned on launching two satellites in late 2017 but opted to stagger the “launches to mitigate risk of launch failures” according to Jeffrey Osborne, Co Founder & VP Strategy & Business Development.
This first launch “will be purposed as a technology demonstration mission for Kepler’s novel Ku-band SDR and high gain antenna,” according the press release.
As previously reported on SpaceQ, Kepler is seeking approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate their new communications sensor for this and future satellites in their constellation.
According to Osborne they are “going through the regulatory process right now to get operational licenses.”
Kepler CEO Mina Mitry said “any mission is important, but doubly-so for the inaugural flight. We are taking all measures to ensure a successful mission and ISSI, through ISL, offered the best solutions for achieving success. We are more than excited to work with ISL and their outstanding team as we prepare for flight.”
“This flight will be the first commercial LEO communications satellite to operate in Ku-band, a coveted band within the communications service provider world. With the increasing interest in mega LEO constellations, being the first company to actually bring this spectrum into use is a major step forward for Kepler.”
ISL has procured launches for 75 satellites since it was founded in 2006.
“We love being able to partner and work with these early-stage and rapidly growing startup space companies”, says Jeroen Rotteveel, CEO of ISL. He continues, “we take a tremendous amount of pride in ensuring we can share our expertise for these new companies and create successful missions together.”