Kleos Space has announced that its Kleos Scouting Mission will be launched on board an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C49 mission from Chennai, India, in early 2020.
The exact date and time of the launch has yet to be formally announced, but Kleos Space CEO Andy Bowyer said in a company statement that, “We eagerly await the time when the launch date can be announced, and all final preparations put in place for this historic moment for the Company.”
Reporting in the last quarter of 2019 suggested that the ISRO PSLV C49 launch mission would take place sometime in December 2019, but it has obviously been postponed for as yet unknown reasons. For Kleos Space, however, this is a source of some frustration.
“For old, new and emerging space businesses, launch volatility remains a challenge. Launching assets is the key to generate revenue, it drives credibility in the marketplace and as a result leads valuation,” said Bowyer.
“Despite having worked in the space industry for 15 years, launch volatility hasn’t diminished. In my background working in space science and exploration, these delays were historically counted in years, nowadays they are only months, but the pressure is amplified. Nevertheless, our unique satellites will soon be launched and deployed into formation, observing the Earth and locating VHF transmissions to help in the coordination of the fight against illegal maritime activity, delivering data to a marketplace that is anxious to receive our insight,” Bowyer added.
Despite these frustrations, however, Andy Bowyer is buoyant when he looks forward into 2020.
“Going into 2020; the overwhelming feeling across the Board and Management team is one of being poised on the edge of massive accelerated growth, our data is wanted, our technology works, investors are extremely enthusiastic. 2019 was about building traction, about creating the opportunity that has grown and grown, 2020 is delivery and expansion,” Bowyer said.
The multi-satellite Kleos Scouting Mission system will form the foundation of a constellation that delivers a picture of hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities when Automatic Identification System (AIS) is defeated, imagery is unclear, or targets are out of patrol range. The Kleos Scouting Mission is made up of four nanosatellites built by GomSpace in Denmark.