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Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) awards Exolaunch launch contract for ARCSAT satellite

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), the prime institution responsible for defence-related research in Norway, has awarded a contract to Exolaunch, a global provider of launch, in-space logistics and deployment services for small satellites, to launch its ARCSAT satellite aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9.

The teams of Exolaunch and GomSpace, the ARCSAT's satellite manufacturer, have just completed a successful integration of the ARCSAT satellite into its deployer at Exolaunch's headquarters in Berlin prior to shipment for the launch campaign at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite is scheduled for launch to a sun-synchronous orbit with Falcon 9 NET April 2022 as part of SpaceX's SmallSat Rideshare Program.

ARCSAT is a 6U nanosatellite designed to demonstrate the use and relevance of a satellite relay for UHF communication at high latitudes. For a polar orbit above 500km, the satellite will be able to cover any point on the Earth's surface ranging from 4 up to 15 daily passes at higher latitudes.

Lars Erling Bråten, Principal Scientist at FFI, stated “We look forward to testing UHF communications in the High North via ARCSAT. The test and demonstration campaign will be important for determining the usefulness of non-geostationary TACSAT services.”

Exolaunch, a global launch integrator working under a Multi-Launch Agreement with SpaceX, is providing launch services, satellite integration and deployment services for the FFI's satellite aboard Transporter-4 mission. To date, Exolaunch has arranged launches for 200 satellites for NewSpace industry leaders, start-ups, space agencies and academia. FFI will benefit from Exolaunch's proprietary deployment technologies, technical expertise, and decade-long unique flight heritage, to launch its satellite into a destined orbit.

Jeanne Allarie, VP Launch at Exolaunch, said “We are proud to have been selected by Norway's FFI as a launch partner to deliver the ARCSAT satellite into orbit aboard SpaceX Falcon 9. Fast access to space, flexible launch services and customer-centric approach have always been our core values and we can't wait to start the launch campaign for ARCSAT in less than a week.”

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