Rocket Lab USA, Inc, a launch provider and space systems company, announced it has been awarded a contract to deploy an entire satellite constellation across five dedicated Electron missions for Kineis, an IoT connectivity provider.
Scheduled for launch beginning in the second quarter of 2023, the constellation will enable Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the French government’s space agency CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) an international space-based solutions provider, to improve its global IoT connectivity. The multi-launch contract with Kinéis, which is subject to standard termination and launch rescheduling provisions, follows a similar bulk buy of launches earlier this year to deploy nine satellites across five dedicated Electron missions as part of a constellation for BlackSky, a provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services.
The Kick Stage will act as an orbital transfer vehicle to deliver each satellite in the Kinéis constellation to their precise orbital planes at a 650km altitude.
Kinéis currently operates the Argos system, an international scientific collaboration between CNES, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), to monitor wildlife, fisheries, and to collect data about Earth’s climate and environment through CLS. Kinéis’ new constellation will complete the current system with more powerful 30kg-class nanosats that integrate IoT technology and a ship-tracking Automatic Identification System (AIS). Once deployed, this technology will allow Kinéis to expand across multiple industries and scale from 20,000 devices connected to millions.
In addition to these missions, Rocket Lab will further contribute to the international Argos system with another upcoming Electron launch. Rocket Lab is the launch provider for the Argos-4 mission for General Atomics, which is developing the satellite for the United States Space Force on behalf of NOAA. That mission is currently scheduled to launch early 2022.