The Boeing Company, through its commercial launch business, 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.
"Boeing Launch Services is pleased to support the third mission of the COSMO-SkyMed program for Thales Alenia Space Italia, the European leader in satellite-based solutions," said Boeing Launch Services Director Ken Heinly. "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."
A Delta II expendable launch vehicle, in the 7420-10 configuration, will carry the COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., 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.
"The launch of the first satellite of the COSMO-SkyMed constellation was a big success for our company by meeting our timelines and the mission assurance of the Delta II vehicle," said C.A. Penazzi, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia. "We look forward to our continued partnership with Boeing to launch the second and third satellites for this important program."
Thales Alenia Space Italia developed the COSMO-SkyMed program for the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence. It is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civil and military) system comprised 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 defense communities.
Boeing has a long-standing relationship with Thales Alenia Space. For example, the company has provided Delta II tanks to Boeing since 2001 and built the Cupola and Harmony Node 2 elements (for the European Space Agency) of the International Space Station, for which Boeing is the prime contractor.
Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused organization that combines strategic planning, business development and sales for Delta commercial launch service customers. It is part of the Space Exploration division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and is based in Huntington Beach, Calif.