Kleos Space S.A., a Luxembourg-based space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance (RF) data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, has confirmed the arrival of its team of mission experts in Chennai, India, in preparation for the launch of Kleos’ four Scouting Mission nanosatellites aboard PSLV C49 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, with launch targeted for the first half of November 2020.

Despite the unprecedented challenges of the launch industry to follow schedule, Kleos Space’s Gavin Bowyer, supported by Ed Stevens from In-Space and mission manager Marcy Rugland from Spaceflight, arrived in Chennai yesterday. The team will stay in quarantine for six days and remain on the launch site in facility barracks. The Satish Dhawan Space Center is nestled in the jungle, where the team will face additional challenges as humidity is typical for the climate during this period of the year.

Over a further week, the team will undergo a system checkout and mechanical inspection prior to battery charging and fuelling. The satellites will be armed for flight, inserted into their dispensers and finally integrated onto the PSLV launch vehicle.

Gavin Bowyer is the MAIT (Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Test) Manager at Kleos Space, having joined the Company at its formation from UK Space Company Magna Parva where he has overseen and built equipment for Mars and Mercury exploration missions over a space career spanning more than ten years. Ed Stevens is the Director of Space Systems at InSpace Missions, a Space as a Managed Service company, where he leads the design, build and operation of the company’s satellites. He brings his 20+ years of space experience in design, build and launch to bear in providing support to Kleos in delivery of the Scouting Mission nanosatellites. Spaceflight Mission Manager Marcy M. Rugland is an experienced engineering leader with a passion for commercial space and aerospace. As a Mission Director, she has overall technical and schedule responsibility for the KSM, meaning from the mission assignment to post-launch, including onsite launch campaign team leadership. 

Andy Bowyer, CEO of Kleos Space, commented: “We are immensely proud of the entire team, launching satellites is always a huge challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic has made logistics and travel even more difficult, their dedication to getting our Scouting Mission satellites into orbit and collecting data to deliver enhanced situational awareness for our customers has been fantastic”. 

Spaceflight, the satellite rideshare and mission management provider, confirmed earlier this week that the launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which is an expendable medium-lift launch vehicle designed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is on track to occur as previously announced within the first half of November 2020.

Kleos Scouting Mission satellites are the foundation of Kleos’ future constellation, which will deliver unprecedented situational awareness at sea with near real-time coverage over key regions of maritime interest including the Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea and African coast.