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Prisma Satellites To Be Launched In June 2009

by Staff Writers
Solna, Sweden (SPX) Apr 25, 2008
The Swedish Space Corporation has signed a contract with the Russian space company Kosmotras regarding launch of the Prisma satellites. The satellites will be launched onboard a Dnepr launcher in June 2009, either from Baikonur in Kazakhstan or from Yasni in southern Russia. The French climate research satellite Picard will probably be launched on the same launcher. The Swedish-lead Prisma project comprises two satellites which will demonstrate new technologies for formation flying and rendezvous, i.e. close encounters and interaction between space vehicles.

Such technologies will be useful in future scientific space projects as they enable large telescopes or antennas to be built up by smaller components in space. This makes great demands on precision, sophisticated sensor technology and advanced systems for measurements, navigation and control.

The technologies in Prisma are mainly developed in Sweden, with contributions from Germany, Denmark and France.

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) is the prime contractor and responsible for project management, satellite design and most of the development, integration and test activities. Once in orbit, the satellites will be controlled from SSC's facility Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden. "We are very satisfied with this contract, which now gives us a fixed date to work towards", says Staffan Persson, project manager for Prisma. "At present, all satellite systems are being integrated and tested in SSC's clean room in Solna. This is an intense phase of the project." Two systems developed by SSC subsidiaries will make their first space flights on Prisma. One is a non-hazardous and environmentally benign propulsion system from ECAPS, and the other is a micro-propulsion system from NanoSpace, giving extremely small thrusts and thus enabling very precise attitude control. The project is mainly financed by the Swedish National Space Board, with contributions from the space agencies of Germany and France.

Related Links
Prisma Satellites
Swedish Space Corporation
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NASA Awards Launch Services Contract To SpaceX
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 23, 2008
NASA has awarded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, a NASA Launch Services contract for the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles. The NASA Launch Services contracts are multiple awards to multiple launch service providers. Twice per year, there is an opportunity for existing and emerging domestic launch service providers to submit proposals if their vehicles meet the minimum contract requirements.

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