Launch Services

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CST provides services for the brokerage, management, and organisation of FSU launches. Launcher brokerage / launch services is conducted in a straightforward way ‘across the board’ for both piggy-back and dedicated launches, while achieving the best possible prices and conditions.

1995 August 31 Tsyklon (1 piggy-back) Fasat Alpha
1998 July 10 Zenit (2 piggy-back) Fasat Bravo + TM Sat
1999 April 21 Dnepr (1 dedicated) Uo Sat 12 (first commercial use of SS-18)
2000 June 28 Cosmos (2 piggy-back) Tsinghua 1 +Snap (first SSO flight of Cosmos)
2000 September 26 Dnepr (1 piggy-back) Tiung Sat
2002 November 28 Cosmos (main in cluster) Alsat-first Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC)
2003 September 27 Cosmos (3 in cluster) NigeriaSat-1, BilSat-1 and UK-DMC (all DMC)
2004 June 29 Dnepr (main in cluster) Demeter (CNES, first SSO flight of Dnepr)
2005 October 27 Cosmos (3 in cluster) TopSat, ChinaSat (DMC), SSETI Express+cubesats
2008 August 29 Dnepr (5 in cluster) RapidEye constellation
2009 July 29 Dnepr (2 in cluster) UK-DMC2 + DEIMOS-1 (both DMC)
2009 September 17 Soyuz/Fregat (1 piggy-back) SumbandilaSat (South Africa, first piggy-back from this launcher combination)
2010 June 15 Dnepr (1 of a pair) Picard (CNES, paired with Prisma)
2011 August 17 Dnepr (2 in cluster) NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X
2012 July 22 Soyuz/Fregat (1 piggy back) ADS-1B
2014 June  19 Dnepr (1 in cluster) KazEOSat-2
2014 July 8 Soyuz/ Fregat (2 piggy back) TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1), UKube-1
2017 July 14 Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat Kanopus-V-IR as a main payload, Planet’s (USA) Flock-2k – 48 Dove CubeSats constellation

On-the-spot management ensures that CST’s clients are always represented, and when combined with its handling of progress meetings and bureaucratic processes, this can save a great deal of time and money for clients.

Contract services include CST’s interpretation and translation skills, as well as its understanding of the Russian approach, which is vital for support in all technical and programmatic meetings.

Consultancy services on all aspects of FSU space industry enable potential customers to assess the technologies, stocks, associations, current situation, and ability to do business of the organisations with which they wish to deal.

Insurance and other financial services can be arranged by CST because of its experience with consultancy work for financial, legal, and insurance groups in London and Moscow.

CST Launch Services Advantages

Many common problems can be avoided by using the experienced CST Russian team:

  • The vital step of negotiating the launch services agreement is handled firmly and in an optimum way by CST since it has a friendly working relationship with all Russian organisations
  • Customs clearance and transportation of satellite and equipment to cosmodrome
  • Payment stages: CST can negotiate a better payment spread, together with more easy transferral terms than usually asked and also arrange for work to begin when the money leaves the client’s bank
  • Launch price negotiations: CST has often negotiated worthwhile reductions on the last ‘firm’ offer to the customer
  • Logistics of staying in Baikonur or Plesetsk for launch preparation are taken care of
  • Translation, interpretation and escort services are arranged by CST
  • Compromises are needed at all stages of launch negotiations by both parties and, as ‘two-way cultural interpreters,’ we are able to see that both sides are best and optimally served

A typical CST launch contract will divide the work into 4 stages:

Stage 1: Location of suitable launch options, preliminary price negotiations, report to customer

Stage 2: Construction of Launch Services Agreement (LSA)

Stage 3: Management of LSA through ICD, fit check and other meetings

Stage 4: Management of launch campaign up to integration of payload with launcher

Each stage is priced equally, up until the completion of stage 4, from which point on a daily rate is charged until the end of the campaign. Expenses (e.g. travel to customer) are always modest and agreed upon beforehand. Historically, stages 1 and 2 have saved customers more than the total CST fees. The contract can be abandoned after stage 1 if no launch is found.

CST has experience of launch brokerage with a wide variety of vehicles – particularly to LEO – including Tsyklon, Zenit, Cosmos, Dnepr, Shtil, and more, with additional launchers entering the market soon. All vehicles can piggy-back via the use of multiple payload carriers, and nearly all orbits are available. By careful brokerage using opportunities and experience, very competitive prices are achieved.

With a variety of customers on hand and in negotiation as well as an internal knowledge of ongoing arrangements, CST can co-ordinate a fit with other satellites in shared or cluster launches. If customers, at extra cost, wish to have the chief satellite position in the cluster, thus ensuring their required orbit and time of launch, then CST can help ensure the required number of other satellites to enable the mission to take place.

Using its long association with launch providers and its experience in the field, CST can negotiate the best terms with any launch provider. Very good terms can be arranged for launches that are designated as tests or promotional. The additional technical risks for the launches can be very low – they will be insurable, and CST can advise on this for each specific case. CST can also negotiate ‘guest’ payloads to enable the defrayment of costs. Dedicated missions for small satellites (up to 200kg) can benefit from the new small launchers that are entering the market, such as the Shtil family and air launchers.