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10 years since SSTL pioneered first Dnepr launch

SSTL and ISC Kosmotras are celebrating 10 years of successful cooperation, since the SSTL minisatellite UoSAT-12 made history as the first successful orbital injection by the Dnepr launch vehicle in April 1999. Vladamir Andreev, the Director General of ISC Kosmotras explained the importance of the launch to Kosmotras and SSTL
This occasion is a remarkable event in the activity of our two companies. For SSTL, this was an important step in the progress of space technologies, and for ISC Kosmotras the first orbital launch of the Dnepr launch vehicle.
Dnepr is based upon the SS-18 strategic missile, one of the world’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles. Only minor modifications were required to adapt the rocket that was originally built to fire carry nuclear payloads into the highly reliable satellite launch vehicle that it is today. Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, added
The introduction of Dnepr as a cost-effective launch solution suited to small satellites was clearly a new and important development and one which has since been proved through a series of successful small satellite launches. As SSTL’s first minisatellite, UoSAT-12 represented a correspondingly important technological development for the Company, paving the way for the GIOVE-A mission seven years later.
UoSAT-12 in orbit
UoSAT-12 was a demonstration mission, designed and built in Guildford, UK by SSTL as a £5.5 million research and development project. The 350kg satellite demonstrated advanced high resolution multispectral and panchromatic Earth observation payloads, low Earth orbit microwave digital communications and a number of novel propulsion and attitude control technologies. For SSTL, UoSAT-12 was the first in a series of successful Dnepr launches, including Malaysia’s first microsatellite, TiungSat, in September 2000. ISC Kosmotras was also selected for the complex launch of the 5-satellite RapidEye constellation in August 2008. During the summer of 2009, Dnepr will also launch two new DMC satellites built by SSTL: UK-DMC2 and Deimos-1. You can see the Dnepr in action launching the RapidEye constellation that SSTL built for MDA below. Cooperation with the Russian launch providers is seen by SSTL as a key ingredient in its small satellite programme, which has never failed to satisfy a customer’s launch requirements. By working closely with partners such as Commercial Space Technologies (CST), SSTL’s experienced team has become adept at filtering through the launch markets to find suitable, and sometimes innovative, solutions for the launch of customer satellites. Through its newly formed subsidiary, Surrey Satellite Services Limited, SSTL has the long term vision of creating a northern latitude launch capability to satisfy the growing demand for the efficient delivery of sun synchronous, polar low Earth orbit and highly inclined satellite systems, as well as responding to the needs of operational responsive space.





15 May 20090 Comments1 Comment

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