Boeing has been awarded a contract to launch the third COSMO-Skymed commercial satellite for Thales Alenia Space Italia, the prime contractor of the Italian Space Agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The COSMO-SkyMed program is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civil and military) system formed of four medium-sized satellites and supporting ground stations for orbit control systems and data reception and processing.
The system will take imagery of the Earth using an X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument capable of operating in all visibility conditions at the request of institutional and commercial users, including members of the civil, scientific and defence communities.
‘The COSMO-SkyMed system is a significant project for Italian science, commerce and security, and the proven reliability of the Delta II will ensure its success.’ said Boeing Launch Services Director Ken Heinly.
A Delta II expendable launch vehicle, in the 7420-10 configuration, will carry the COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, US, in 2008. Boeing Launch Services will procure the launch vehicle and related support from United Launch Alliance, a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture.
Boeing successfully launched the first COSMO-SkyMed satellite June 7 from Vandenberg and is planning to place the constellation’s second of four satellites into orbit later this year.