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Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Announces Completion of Telesat LEO 3 Microsatellite, Shipment to Launch Site

The Telesat LEO 3 microsatellite, developed by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) and shown here at the SFL integration facility in Toronto, has arrived at the Rocket Lab launch site in New Zealand.

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, 21 June 2023 – Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a developer of comprehensive microspace missions, announced the completion of the Telesat LEO 3 demonstration microsatellite. SFL shipped the spacecraft from its Toronto integration facility to New Zealand where it arrived this week at the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1.

Following inspection to ensure the satellite shipped safely, LEO 3 will be integrated to the Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle. Launch is scheduled for no earlier than Q3 2023. Once in orbit, LEO 3 will provide continuity for customer and ecosystem vendor testing campaigns after decommissioning of Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite.

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Telesat is one of the world’s largest and most innovative satellite operators. Telesat selected SFL to build LEO 3 on a relatively aggressive schedule. With a mass of 30 kg, the 30x30x45 cm satellite is based on SFL’s scalable and versatile DEFIANT microsatellite platform. Currently, more than a dozen DEFIANT satellites are in orbit serving SFL clients in a variety of applications.  

“SFL is pleased to have been chosen by Telesat to meet the challenge of building a cost-effective microsatellite with a robust design to achieve its high-bandwidth demonstration goals in Telesat’s target orbit,” said SFL Director Dr. Robert E. Zee.  “This continues SFL’s long standing history of enabling business success through smaller satellites developed at low cost.”

SFL’s 25-year heritage includes 65 operational successes totaling 250 cumulative years in orbit, with an additional 27 satellites under development or awaiting launch. Customized payloads include a wide range of applications related to Earth observation, atmospheric monitoring, ship tracking, communication, radio frequency (RF) geolocation, technology demonstration, space astronomy, solar physics, space plasma, and other scientific research.

About Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)

SFL generates bigger returns from smaller, lower cost satellites. Small satellites built by SFL consistently push the performance envelope and disrupt the traditional cost paradigm. Satellites are built with advanced power systems, stringent attitude control and high-volume data capacity that are striking relative to the budget. SFL arranges launches globally and maintains a mission control center accessing ground stations worldwide. The pioneering and barrier-breaking work of SFL is a key enabler to tomorrow’s cost-aggressive satellites and constellations.

Dr. Robert E. Zee
SFL Director

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