Kepler’s first Ku-band satellite is in orbit

Master Plan Part Un in Action

Kepler’s first satellite, KIPP, is now in orbit! Pushing forward step one of our top-secret master plan.

Step 1 - Build a satellite platform 100x cheaper

It’s hard to imagine that just over two years ago we started this company, a year ago we were funded, and now we have our first operational asset in orbit. Never before has space been so accessible. Our industry has undergone such a major transformation akin to the effect of containers on SaaS deployment. We went from napkin to orbit in 12 months.

Friday, January 19, KIPP left earth from JSLC aboard a Long March 11 vehicle and was successfully inserted into its operating orbit. Initial contact with KIPP indicated the spacecraft is happy, healthy, and performing as expected. An incredible feat for our engineering team that has worked tirelessly to ensure KIPP’s success.

KIPP is the first commercial LEO spacecraft to operate in Ku-band, a highly sought-after frequency band for satellite communications - especially amongst many of the planned mega constellations. This launch will put to use our recently awarded spectrum license to operate our 140 satellite LEO constellation. Landing favorable licensure was a tremendous effort that took over two years and would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of the Canadian government.

About KIPP

KIPP is a technology demonstration for our novel Ku-band telecommunications payload, and will help us deliver a new service to the market - high throughput store and forward communications. This is our first service to a handful of customers that I talked about in step two of our master plan:

Step 2 - Sell a niche service to early adopters

We will be testing system performance in concert with our ground station in Inuvik and pilot customers in the maritime and mining industries. Taking advantage of the market opportunity for bulk delay tolerant data transfer, a need largely underserved by others in the industry today.

A Step Forward

More than just a milestone, this is part of a mission for all of us at Kepler. With this launch we are proving our team, market, tech, and most importantly our ability to execute. The deployment of our first satellite puts us one step closer to achieving our vision of providing internet for space.

With our vision in mind, over the course of the next two years we will incrementally deploy our next generation of satellites. Following KIPP will be CASE, embodying our value of continuous improvement, with a design iteration that improves the quality of service to our customers.

We will continue to incrementally build and launch our infrastructure until we reach our full constellation of up to 140 spacecraft. As our network scales we will grow our terrestrial user base, and then begin to offer connectivity for assets on orbit. It’s around this time that we hit Step 3 of our master plan:

Step 3 - Use the money to fund mass production

A Quick Thank You!

We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for our partners, their undying support for our mission, and their commitment to exceeding expectations.

KIPP was built in partnership with Clyde Space, and Bright Ascension who provided the spacecraft BUS and on-board software respectively. The Kepler ground network was built in collaboration with Comtech EF Data, Kongsberg Satellite Services, Innovative Space Logistics, and Nextologies. KIPP’s launch was manifested by Innovative Space Launch on board a Long March 11 provided by China Great Wall Industries Corporation.

Stay tuned as the best of Kepler is yet to come.

Onward and upward!

The Kepler family is always welcoming new members here.

PS. Please continue not telling anyone about our secret plan

About the Author

Mina Mitry

Mina Mitry

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer