Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) will launch two of its 100-kilogram-class Earth observation satellites, Britain’s UK-DMC2 and Spain’s Deimos-1, aboard a Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr rocket in late 2008, SSTL announced Oct. 8. The same rocket is expected to carry

the 200-kilogram DubaiSat-1 optical Earth observation satellite now under construction in South Korea as the principal payload.

Dnepr vehicles are converted SS-18 ballistic missiles whose operations are being moved from Russia’s BaikonurCosmodrome in Kazakhstan to a new spaceport in Yasny, which is near Orenburg, Russia. ISC Kosmotras of Moscow, which markets Dnepr vehicles commercially,

already has conducted a launch from the Yasny facility.

The UK-DMC2 satellite has been financed and built by SSTL for its subsidiary, DMC International Imaging, which operates the disaster-monitoring constellation on behalf of the five nations – Algeria, Britain, China, Nigeria and Turkey – that funded development of their own Surrey-designed spacecraft. The five satellites were launched between 2002 and 2005.

Deimos-1 is being financed by Deimos Space SL of Madrid, Spain, which is entering the commercial Earth observation market in hopes of attracting government and commercial customers. Deimos officials have said they are investing 30 million euros ($42.42 million)

in the Deimos-1 project.

The largest payload on the Dnepr rocket carrying Deimos-1 and UK-DMC2 will be the DubaiSat spacecraft, being built by Satrec Initiative of Daejeon, South Korea. Satrec is part of the South Korean

team that built Korea’s Kompsat-2 and Kompsat-3 Earth observation satellites.

is being financed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), which is the United Arab Emirates government body that promotes science and technology research. EIAST engineers have been taking part in DubaiSat’s construction in South Korea as part of a technology-transfer program that resembles what SSTL did for South Korean engineers in the early 1990s.

now has

become an SSTL competitor in the global market for small science and Earth observation satellites.

The SSTL contracts with Kosmotras were arranged by Commercial Space Technologies, a technology consultancy with offices in London and Moscow. Nina Pestmal, the company’s Moscow office director, said Oct. 8 that Dnepr is expected to be available as a space-launch vehicle at least until 2012, at which time the Russian and Ukrainian managers at Kosmotras will need to consider whether to replace certain launch-system components.

Dnepr has conducted nine space-launch missions since 2000.