Kleos Space SA (ASX:KSS) (FRA:KS1) will use a delay in the launch of its Scouting Mission of satellites to expand contracts, further develop data products and rapidly progress the second generation of satellites.
Launch provider Rocket Lab has advised Kleos that the Scouting Mission launch period for the four satellites has been extended to October 2019.
Kleos’ CEO Andy Bowyer said: “Kleos is prepared for this situation as launches are exceptionally complex and often prone to delays.”
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He said the Scouting Mission launch was dependent on parties outside of Kleos control.
“Notwithstanding that our team has ensured that our satellites are mission ready, but we cannot launch without a vehicle.
“Due to Rocket Lab’s manifest requirements and their evolving production schedule, Kleos’ next available launch opportunity has been extended beyond our contractual launch period ending August 2019 to no earlier than October 2019.
“We have been advised that Rocket Lab is doing everything possible to minimise schedule movements and launch the Kleos satellites as quickly as possible.”
Rocket Lab’s chief executive Peter Beck said: “Following six successful orbital missions since January 2018, Rocket Lab is rapidly scaling production and launch operations to meet growing market demand.
“We look forward to launching Kleos satellites in the coming months as we continue to increase our launch cadence.”
First data flows from the satellites, which use a space-enabled data-as-a-service (DaaS) model, will be merged with other data sources to create flexible product bundles for end users.
The company has achieved its data delivery strategy through critical partnerships and strong non-equity financial support from the Luxembourg Government.
Using radio frequency (RF) data Kleos aims to help disrupt illegal fishing, smuggling and trafficking, a challenge for governments valued at more than US$80 billion.
Second generation satellites
Kleos’ planned second mission using second generation satellites will focus on delivering enhanced coverage of the Earth closer to the equator, which Bowyer said would increase revenues and the customer base.
The CEO said: “Developing the second-generation satellites at this early stage will allow us to gain advantage following the successful launch of the Scouting Mission and allow us to stay on schedule for the overall business growth.
“As a responsible and highly focused Space business we are constantly aware of the complexities of the space industry and we are prepared to take advantage of unplanned opportunities.
“Kleos is doing everything possible to minimise schedule movements and launch the Kleos satellites into orbit as quickly as possible,” Bowyer concluded.