The 25 IoT satellites are slated to be launched starting from the second quarter of 2023
Rocket Lab USA has won a contract from France-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider Kinéis for deploying 25 satellites across five dedicated missions on its Electron launch vehicle.
The value of the contract was not disclosed.
According to the parties, the satellites are slated to be launched starting from the second quarter of 2023.
The satellite constellation will enable Kinéis to boost its global IoT connectivity.
The company is backed by the French government’s space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales CNES, space-based solutions provider Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), and other private and public investors.
Kinéis CEO Alexandre Tisserant said: “We are glad to entrust our constellation of 25 satellites to Rocket Lab. They are the leaders in small satellite launch and the obvious choice as launch partner to activate our constellation at such a pace.
“We designed and developed our 25 satellites in record time with the support of CNES, Thalès Alénia Space and HEMERIA in order to deliver a full new operational service to our existing and future customers – we are now eagerly counting down to first launch in 2023!”
Rocket Lab said that it was selected as the launch partner by Kinéis based on the Electron’s Kick Stage successful deployment of more than 100 satellites so far.
The Kick Stage of the launch vehicle will operate as an orbital transfer vehicle to deliver each of the 25 satellites in the Kinéis constellation to their precise orbital planes at an altitude of 650km. This will enable the IoT connectivity provider to avoid sacrificing spacecraft mass for propulsion and to commence a fully operational service as early as possible.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said: “Deploying an entire constellation and having it operational quickly requires each satellite to be deployed to exactly the right orbit. Rocket Lab’s track record of exceptional orbital deployment accuracy provides Kinéis with that assurance.
“By taking care of in-space transport, the Kick Stage makes life much easier for satellite constellation operators, enabling them to maximise spacecraft mass for their payload.”
Last month, Rocket Lab wrapped up its previously announced $4.1bn merger deal with Vector Acquisition. The deal has enabled the end-to-end space company to go public.