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RapidEye ready for launch

Since our last update How many spacecraft can you fit in a Dnepr? regarding the 5 RapidEye fit-check in Baikonur, an MDA / SSTL launch team set to work in July preparing the small satellite constellation for launch. All five RapidEye satellites have now been been integrated with the Dnepr launch vehicle at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and are ready for launch at 0715 UTC (0815 BST, 0915 CEST) this Friday (29th August). SSTL designed, built the spacecraft bus and performed the assembly, integration and test its facilities in Guildford, UK. It also supplied the spacecraft control centre. MDA’s subcontractor Jena-Optronik GmbH of Jena, Germany, designed and built the imaging payloads. MDA is the prime contractor of the RapidEye mission that is delivered turnkey and in-orbit to RapidEye AG. MDA has direct responsibility for the mission design, the spacecraft design and the ground planning and image processing system. The Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Government of Canada Crown corporation, is acting as the contracting agency between MDA and RapidEye AG. RapidEye is a commercial small satellite mission that will enable global monitoring of the Earth’s surface. The constellation is designed to provide insurance and food companies, farmers, government and other agencies and institutions throughout the world with valuable, up-to-date, customised information products and services of the highest quality. The dedicated launch will place the five satellites in a common sun-synchronous orbit of 630 km, with the satellites equally spaced about 19 minutes apart in their orbit, ensuring frequent imaging of particular areas of interests. The RapidEye system will image any area in the world at all latitudes between +/- 75 degrees within one day and cover the entire agricultural areas of North America and Europe within an average of five days. The multi-spectral pushbroom style imager onboard each spacecraft will image the Earth in five spectral bands, scanning a 78 km swath at 6.5m resolution.





27 August 20080 Comments1 Comment

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