SSTL successfully launches two further Earth Observation satellites
17 Aug 2011
The latest Earth observation satellites from UK small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) were successfully launched today at 07:12:20 UTC onboard a Dnepr rocket from Yasny in southern Russia. NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X will significantly boost African capabilities for natural resource management, as well as aid disaster relief through the Disaster Monitoring Constellation.
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NigeriaSat-2 (SSTL-300 platform).
Science Minister David Willetts said: “The completion of this significant engineering project is testament to the success of the rapidly growing UK space industry. Not only are we producing technology and services that are in global demand but we are also helping more countries use satellite imagery to tackle important issues, including urban development and disaster relief.”
Following confirmation of separation from the launch vehicle, ground stations in Guildford and Abuja established contact with NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X respectively and commissioning of the satellites in their 686 km sun-synchronous orbit is now progressing.
The two satellites, built under contract with the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), will provide Nigeria with the ability to enhance food security through monthly crop monitoring, assist with burgeoning urban planning demands and, through the development of engineering skills, will advance the growth of new technologies in Nigeria.
NigeriaSat-2, one of the most advanced Earth observation small satellites launched, will provide high-resolution (2.5-metres) images whilst, under a 3-year training and development programme, 26 Nigerian engineers have worked alongside SSTL engineers in Guildford, assembling the accompanying 100kg NigeriaSat-X. After completion of the commissioning phase, NASRDA engineers will control both satellites from their ground station in Abuja.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with over 350 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981 SSTL has built and launched 34 satellites – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with its innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.