Exolaunch revealed on Tuesday that it signed a launch agreement for two of Kepler's 6U XL satellites. Exolaunch will provide launch, mission management, integration, and deployment services to Kepler's satellites on a Soyuz rideshare mission, with a launch target of September 2020.
Kepler's two new 6U XL satellites both carry a Ku-band communications system and a prototype Internet of Things (IoT) payload. The satellites will deliver additional capacity for Kepler's Global Data Service and a technology demonstration platform for Kepler's narrowband connectivity solution for IoT devices.
Exolaunch Commercial Director Jeanne Medvedeva commented on the upcoming launch plans: "Exolaunch looks forward to working with Kepler to support its mission to eliminate global gaps in connectivity. With the launch of two more satellites, Kepler's Global Data Service capabilities will expand significantly and improve the economics of movement of data. Our team is ready to utilize our launch expertise and deployment solutions to ensure smooth deployment of Kepler's satellites into orbit. In light of recent global challenges, we are especially proud of this opportunity to continue our mission to provide our customers with regular access to space."