To meet the increasing need for launch opportunities for small satellites, CubeSats in particular, SSC has initiated SmallSat Express, a European launch capability for small satellites from its launching facility Esrange Space Center. SmallSat Express is part of a bigger project with the aim to manifest Esrange as a center of excellence providing a multitude of services, including small satellite launch services, to the scientific community as well as commercial customers.
The facility already has a well-equipped infrastructure and experience of range and launch safety as well as handling large rocket motors and launching of guided rockets. Apart from the launch service for small satellites, coordinated measurements using satellites, sounding rockets, balloons and/or ground instrumentation will be possible.
The launch service is intended for 1-150 kg satellites; however, CubeSats are the target payloads. The launch periods, one to four per year, will be fixed. The service will enable a standardized orbit suitable for most small satellites; sun-synchronous orbit at 500 km altitude (inclination = 97.4°) with the ascending node at 0600, 2200, and 1400 (“dawn-dusk” orbit) Local Solar Time. By using the launch service on three consecutive launches a constellation of satellites covering every local time can be established.
Esrange will be a “green” launch site, meaning that Hydrazine will be banned. The goal is to launch the first satellite in 2020.
For more information, contact:
Ella Carlsson Sjöberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 70 648 00 48