With 64 satellites just launched from 17 countries there are many reports from numerous agencies. The following is the statement from Surrey Satellite Technology in the UK.
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has confirmed the successful launch of KazSTSAT, a small Earth observation satellite jointly developed by SSTL and JV Ghalam LLP, a joint venture between JSC “National Company Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary” (KGS) and Airbus Defence and Space. The satellite was launched into a 575 km sun-synchronous orbit on board Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Base on 3rd December 2018.
Sarah Parker, Managing Director of SSTL said “I am pleased to confirm that following separation from the launch vehicle a joint commissioning team here in Guildford have successfully made contact with KazSTSAT and established that all initial systems checks are nominal. I would like to congratulate our customer Ghalam on their new Earth Observation satellite and look forward to seeing the first mission results from the spacecraft soon.”
“It is a great event for us, this is the first mission in which the Ghalam team participated rather than being involved in its design, assembly and testing, and which also has a number of Kazakh technologies on board. We are very pleased with our partnership with SSTL and are grateful to our British partners for invaluable experience our team got in a truly collaborative environment,” said Ghalam CEO, Aibergen Ruslanuly.
KazSTSAT has a mass of 105kg and will acquire image data at 18.7 m GSD with a swath width of 275 km. The spacecraft carries several experimental and demonstration units, including a beyond diffraction limit imager, a sun sensor, and a novel OBCARM. KazSTSAT will be operated by Ghalam, using a fully virtualized ground segment with S/X-band software defined back-ends deployed at KSAT ground stations in Svalbard and a technology demonstration ground station in Astana.
KazSTSAT is the second satellite SSTL has worked on with Kazakhstan; KazEOSat-2, a medium resolution satellite designed and manufactured by SSTL for KGS, was launched in 2014.