Following the launch of the first GRUS smallsat (hereinafter called GRUS-1A) on December 27, 2018, Axelspace Corporation has announced the details of the launch of two more satellites of the same type (GRUS-1B and GRUS-1C).
Additionally, Axelspace and Fukui Satellite Technology & Research Association (FSTRA), which have been collaborating on the development of “Fukui Prefectural Satellite,” will launch the satellite with the same launch vehicle as GRUS-1B/1C. The development framework and schedule have also been agreed upon and the contract signing ceremony was held at the Fukui Prefectural Government Office.
GRUS-1B/1C and Fukui Prefectural Satellite will all become part of Axelspace’s AxelGlobe infrastructure, aiming to eventually capture imagery of the entire Earth landmass each day. After the launch, the number of satellites in AxelGlobe will grow to four, greatly increasing the platform’s imaging capabilities. Axelspace will operate Fukui Prefectural Satellite as part of the GRUS constellation to achieve the highest efficiency.
Fukui Prefectural Satellite will be the first AxelGlobe satellite not owned by Axelspace (it will be the property of FSTRA). While owning only one satellite, FSTRA will enjoy a higher image capturing frequency of its areas of interest thanks to the capacity shared by GRUS-1A/1B/1C. At the same time, by using Fukui Prefectural Satellite’s capacity to its fullest capabilities, Axelspace will be able to obtain imagery of areas outside FSTRA’s areas of interest. By using this kind of win-win collaboration model with other organizations, Axelspace is aiming for an early completion of AxelGlobe.
Here are the details of the launch of GRUS-1B, GRUS-1C and of Fukui Prefectural Satellite.
- Launch vehicle Soyuz-2
- Launch site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
- Orbit Sun-synchronous orbit, 600km altitude
- Launch operator GK Launch Services, an operator of Soyuz-2 commercial launchers from Russian space ports
- Launch period From Q2 2020