RapidEye constellation ready for launch
Wednesday 27 August 2008
The 5-satellite RapidEye constellation is ready for launch from Baikonur on 29 August, 2008.
All five satellites have been integrated with the Dnepr launch vehicle at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in readiness for launch at 0715 UTC (0815 BST, 0915 CEST). An MDA/SSTL launch team arrived in Baikonur early July to conduct final tests and integration of the spacecraft with the Dnepr rocket.
SSTL in Guildford, UK, designed and built the spacecraft bus, the spacecraft control centre and performed the spacecraft assembly, integration and test. 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.
Peter La, Press Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: +44 (0)1483 689191, or Email firstname.lastname@example.org