There are, and will be, many challenges for the Kleos Space S.A, launch team that has arrived in India for final preparations of their upcoming launch, targeted for the first half of November 2020. The team is preparing for the launch of mission satellites for Kleos’ four Scouting Mission nanosatellites aboard PSLV C49 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
Despite the unprecedented 2020 challenges of the launch industry to follow schedule, Kleos Space’s Gavin Bowyer supported by Ed Stevens from In-Space and mission manager Marcy Rugland from Spaceflight arrived in Chennai yesterday at 3:00 am local time.
The team will isolate in quarantine for six days on their arrival and remain on the launch site in facility barracks. The Satish Dhawan Space Center is nestled in the jungle, where the team will face additional challenges as humidity is typical for the climate during this period of the year.
Kleos’ Gavin Bowyer said before leaving, “In the current pandemic situation, traveling is an obstacle we are willing to overcome. Irrespective of our mission, the challenge on site will nevertheless be to stay in good physical conditions and avoid being bitten by Mosquitoes!”
Over a further week the team will undergo a system checkout and mechanical inspection prior to battery charging, and fueling. The satellites will be armed for flight, inserted into their dispensers and finally integrated onto the PSLV launch vehicle.
Gavin Bowyer is the MAIT (Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Test) Manager at Kleos Space having joined the Company at its formation from UK Space Company Magna Parva where he has overseen and built equipment for Mars and Mercury exploration missions over a 10+ year Space career.
Ed Stevens is the Director of Space Systems at In- Space Missions, a Space as a Managed Service company, where he leads the design, build and operation of the company’s satellites. Ed brings his 20+ years of space experience in design, build and launch to bear in providing support to Kleos in delivery of the Scouting Mission nanosatellites.
Spaceflight Mission Manager Marcy M. Rugland is an experienced engineering leader with a passion for commercial space and aerospace. As a Mission Director, she has overall technical and schedule responsibility for the KSM, meaning from the mission assignment to post-launch, including onsite launch campaign team leadership. Marcy also volunteers as a member of the steering committee of “Ladies who launch”.
Andy Bowyer, CEO of Kleos Space added, “We are immensely proud of the entire team, launching satellites is always a huge challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic has made logistics and travel even more difficult, their dedication to getting our Scouting Mission satellites into orbit and collecting data to deliver enhanced situational awareness for our customers has been fantastic.”
Spaceflight, the satellite rideshare and mission management provider, confirmed earlier this week that the launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which is an expendable medium-lift launch vehicle designed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is on track to occur as previously announced within the first half of November 2020.
Kleos Scouting Mission satellites are the foundation of Kleos’ future constellation, which will deliver unprecedented situational awareness at sea with near real-time coverage over key regions of maritime interest including the Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea and African coast.