Plans for UK satellite launcher

3 Feb, 2009 | SnippetsTdp

Go for it, we did pretty well adapting what was originally designed to be an ballistic missile and re-purposing it as a satellite launcher. In fact, the satellite launched by one is still in orbit.

Ironically, the UK is one of the world leaders of satellite design and construction, and doing things on a shoe string is something of a speciality, so this should be good.

SSTL envisages a vehicle capable of taking at least 50kg of payload into a polar orbit with a minimum altitude of 400km (248 miles), but engineers would aim to get significant additional performance.
"We'd be looking at a range from 50 to up to a maximum of 200kg because you'd want to do different sizes of satellite," said Mr Whitehorn.
Dr Baker added: "Hopefully we can do it for a lot less money than the current providers.
"It costs something like $5m-$10m at the moment to get one of our smaller satellites into space. What we are targeting is to see if we can do this for a million dollars.
"I think that's a very challenging number but I'm confident we can get very close to that - and if you could build the satellite itself for a couple of million dollars, all of a sudden you've got a very attractive package for well under $5m that lets your customers do something pretty capable in orbit."