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Satellite Communications Technology

Soyuz-2 to launch first demo mission for Pixxel constellation

(13 September 2019 - Roscosmos) Pixxel has signed a launch contract with GK Launch Services for its first tech demo mission to be launched in Q2-Q3 2020 from Baikonur on GK-operated Soyuz-2 mission.

The contract was arranged with the support of Precious Payload’s launch booking platform.

“We have chosen GK Launch Services because it bundles all the services in one package, offering transparent and standard insurance products along with launch services to the customers. Moreover, the company helps to solve less evident but equally important issues that traditionally brokers do, such as separation systems, logistics support, and right up to visa support. At the same time, having trusted our launch management to Precious Payload team, we have opted for focusing on our product and clients,” said Awais Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of Pixxel.

“We are pleased that Pixxel has chosen the most reliable launch vehicle, Soyuz-2, in the world for injecting their satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit. The smallsat launch market is gaining progress rapidly – new solutions are appearing that help customers find a provider of launch, integration, insurance and other related services. The team of GK Launch Services pays great attention to such solutions. The approach of Precious Payload to space mission management using modern IT-platform software helps customers be more informed about the advantages of cooperation with this or that launch provider. It is a useful tool for quick and better communication with our potential customers and the industry in whole,” said Alexander Serkin, CEO of GK Launch Services.

“We are happy that Pixxel has found GK Launch Services through our online platform. It will be a good test of our new service model for complete space mission management. In the growing small satellite market, launch providers are eager to make a product that provides comprehensive turn-key solutions for smallsat customers. GK Launch Services have developed an innovative online price calculator that meets market demand. The company also solves one of the key issues in the space sector, which is the provision of chain management,” said Andrey Maksimov, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Precious Payload.

Pixxel is an Indian space startup based in Bengaluru, India. Pixxel is building a constellation of earth imaging satellites to provide global coverage every 24 hours. The startup is the only Asian participant in the Techstars Starbust Space Accelerator where it is working with JPL NASA, US Air Force, Lockheed Martin, SAIC and IAI among other space stalwarts.

GK Launch Services is an operator of commercial launches. The company was established by the decision of Roscosmos and is authorized to conclude commercial contracts for the launch of spacecraft using Soyuz-2 family launch vehicles from the Russian spaceports.

Precious Payload is building a digital space mission management platform. The company helps with launch procurement, ground segment support, insurance, and regulatory aspects of access to space via an online service.