International Launch Services (ILS) and Effective Space announce their intent to contract to deliver two of Effective Space’s Space Drone spacecraft into orbit. The Proton Breeze M rideshare launch is planned for 2020 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle with the standard 4-meter payload fairing will launch the two spacecraft into a geostationary orbit. The Space Drone spacecraft will then use their onboard propulsion system to maneuver to their contracted life-extension mission locations, as recently announced.
The Space Drone spacecraft is a 400-kilogram spacecraft (1m x 1m x 1.25m) that has a universal, non-intrusive docking system to rendezvous and dock to the geostationary host satellite, according to the company. The Space Drone spacecraft then uses electric propulsion to take over the station-keeping and attitude-control maneuvers of the joint stack. Missions include station-keeping, relocation, deorbiting, orbit correction, inclination correction and “Bringing Into Use” (BIU). The ILS Proton Breeze M launch will be the first deployment of Effective Space’s Space Drone spacecraft in 2020. Planned fleet expansion will see up to six Space Drone spacecraft being sent to orbit on an annual basis. Future phases will see Space Drone spacecraft being launched to support Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations, Active-Debris-Removal (ADR) and other logistics in space.
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