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A new era in space communications began on Jan. 19, 2018, with the successful launch of an ultra-low-cost telecommunications satellite from Canada-based Kepler Communications. The mission serves as a technology demonstration for Kepler’s Ku-band telecommunications payload.

The initial Kepler nanosatellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) in northwestern China, with launch service provided by China Great Wall Industries Corp. and contracted through Innovative Space Logistics. This marks the 100th successful launch from JSLC to date. Kepler is the first Canadian spacecraft ever launched from China.