PR — The wait is almost over – the expectation of an imminent launch adds excitement to the RapidEye Team these days, as the constellation of five earth observation satellites sits ready in a clean room in Surrey, U.K. waiting to be shipped to the launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
“For the first time since signing the supply contract in 2004 with CCC (Canadian Commercial Corporation) to have MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler) build the ground and space segment of the RapidEye system, we can say that we see the finish line. Anticipation is building every day,” said Pietro Widmer, Head of the Operations and Engineering Department.
The space head module, on which the satellites will be mounted and which will be placed on top of the DNEPR rocket, has been built and is currently undergoing final testing, while the launch vehicle and the silo are being prepared for the event.
Additionally, the insurance contract covering the launch of the satellite constellation and the first year in orbit has been successfully negotiated.
“Currently, nothing is standing in the way of us launching this summer,” Mr. Widmer says. “Although there can always be unforeseen delays in this business, I’m very optimistic.”
RapidEye is a geospatial information provider focused on integrating customized and industry specific solutions into the workflow of global customers in agriculture, forestry, energy, infrastructure, government, security and emergency. In mid-2008, RapidEye will launch a constellation of five satellites capable of downloading over 4 million km² of high resolution, multi-spectral imagery per day.