The Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer (USEF) of Tokyo, Japan and Eurockot Launch Services GmbH of Bremen, Germany, today announced the successful launch of the SERVIS-1 satellite at 13:43 UTC from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia using a ROCKOT launch vehicle. After postponement of one day because of weather conditions (high winds) the spacecraft was injected into a sun-synchronous orbit of 1000 km altitude. This mission follows on from the s
uccessful launch of the previous mission MOM performed on 30 June 2003.

SERVIS-1, the acronym for the first "Space Environment Reliability Verification Integrated System" mission, will be employed to develop technologies for the utilization of commercial off-the-shelf components in space conditions. USEF has the responsibility to promote the SERVIS project including the development of satellite system under the auspices of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The contract with USEF was concluded with the support of Tokyo-based Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, the representative of Eurockot in Asia.

Eurockot Launch Services is the joint venture of EADS SPACE Transportation (51%) and Khrunichev Space Center (49%) and provides commercial launch services to operators of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites using the ROCKOT launch vehicle from dedicated facilities at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arch-angel region of Northern Russia.

In 2004 Eurockot will provide two launches: ESA’s CryoSat satellite into a near polar orbit and the earth observation satellite KOMPSAT-2 of the Korean Aero-space Research Institute (KARI) of Taejon, Republic of Korea, which will be deployed into SSO. Eurockot has also submitted several proposals for launch services in Germany, Europe and Asia, which are to be decided in autumn 2003: The European Space Agency is currently conducting a launch competition for its Earth Explorer Missions comprising four satellites to be launched between 2004 and 2008. Eurockot has already won the launch contract for CryoSat, the first satellite of this series and the contract for the second satellite GOCE also awarded to Eurockot. The German Government’s SARLupe constellation with five satellites is another prospect for serial launches. In Asia invitations for tender are expected for scientific and commercial remote-sensing satellite launches in the near future.