The Russian-Ukrainian Kosmotras company has signed a contract with the UK's Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) for two launches of SSTL mini-satellites on the Dnepr, a converted SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile booster. The launches are planned to take place in March/April and October/November next year.
The first commercial Dnepr launch on 21 April carried an SSTL satellite, the 315kg (690lb) UoSat 12, into a 650km circular orbit at 65¼ inclination. Kosmotras and SSTL foresee a long term partnership, with Kosmotras hoping to make two to three commercial launches a year for SSTL. Marketing support for the Dnepr is provided by Cordant Technologies' Thiokol Propulsion. Kosmotras hopes to attract users requiring launches of replacement satellites for constellation systems.
Source: Flight International