Kepler books orbital transfer vehicle for next launch

TAMPA, Fla. — Canada’s Kepler Communications said June 30 it plans to use D-Orbit’s orbital transfer vehicle for the next two satellites in its low-data-rate constellation.

The Kepler-20 and Kepler-21 satellites will be boarded on the Italian space logistics company’s ION Satellite Carrier, which has booked a flight in the first quarter of 2023 on a rocket the companies declined to disclose.

After separating from the launch vehicle, D-Orbit intends to use ION to drop Kepler’s satellites off at a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) between 500 and 600 kilometers. Each satellite is the size of six cubesats, a standard smallsat form factor measuring 10 centimeters on each side.  

ION and orbital transfer vehicles developed by other companies offer operational efficiencies…

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