Canadian IoT and network services provider Kepler Communications today announced it is starting production in its new satellite manufacturing facility in downtown Toronto. The company plans to operate a fleet of 140 satellites providing global data and network services.
“With our new facility in place, we solve a key challenge to scaling our business – the mass production of highly capable spacecraft. Leveraging our unique partnerships, the satellites we produce will fly systems that have decades of learning embedded into them,” said Kepler’s CEO and co-founder Mina Mitry. “This facility will bring many highly capable Kepler satellites to life at unmatched costs and help us deliver service globally.”
Kepler is promoting the facility as an economic boom for Toronto, creating new high-tech jobs and supporting Canadian partners and suppliers. The facility is vital for the company to reach its required cost and performance targets so it can ensure a fully operational constellation by the end of 2022.
Nearly all New Space companies building more than a dozen or so satellites, such as Planet and Spire, have decided to manufacture satellites in-house to control costs and provide flexibility and speed in adding new improvements to the latest generation of spacecraft.
Kepler currently has two satellites in orbit providing high-speed store-and-forward data services, with a third satellite scheduled for launch in Spring 2020, followed by the launch of its first two production satellites built in Toronto in the summer. Two more satellite batches are planned for launch before the end of the year onboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare missions, completing the company’s GEN1 constellation.