Kepler Communications, Inc.
Company typePrivate
FoundersMina Mitry, Wen Cheng Chong, Mark Michael, Jeffrey Osborne[citation needed]
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada

Kepler Communications Inc. is an international satellite telecommunications company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with presence in the UK and the USA.[1] The company's stated mission is to create the internet for space and allow-in-space communications for the future space economy.[2][3] It has also worked on building a satellite network for IoT communication systems.


Kepler Communications was founded in 2015 by four graduate students from the University of Toronto, who previously worked together on various design projects through the University of Toronto Aerospace Team. The startup was incubated at University of Toronto's Entrepreneurship Hatchery, the Creative Destruction Lab, Ryerson University's (now Toronto Metropolitan University) DMZ, and was part of the Techstars Seattle 2016 cohort.The company is named in honour of Johannes Kepler, a pioneer in the discovery of the way in which objects in space interact. He is best known for his Laws of Planetary Motion.[citation needed]

Kepler was able to raise $5M in a seed round financing at Techstars, and in the span of 12 months was able to take KIPP from design to orbit. In 2018, the company successfully completed their Series A financing round, raising a total of $16M USD. The round was led by Costanoa Ventures, with participation by Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) Digital Ventures as a strategic investor.It was followed by Series B funding, in which the company raised around US $60M, led by Tribe Capital in 2021.[2][3] In April 2023, Kepler announced a successful Series C funding round of US $92 million, bringing its total amount of equity raised to over US $200 million. The round is led by IA Ventures and also backed by Costanoa Ventures, Canaan Partners, Tribe Capital, BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, and others.[4][5]

The company started as a builder of a shoebox-sized satellites constellation based on the CubeSat standard to deliver connectivity to other satellites and ground-based stations, allowing for near real-time exchange of data from IoT devices, large scale data backhaul (store-and-forward) services, and ultimately command and control for other space-based assets.

With its Series B funding round, the company started establishing its presence in the United States of America in 2018.[2]Kepler Communication shifted its focus from IoT to optical constellation technology in 2020 and began to provide Internet connectivity for space-generated data and communications for in-space assets. Since its switch to integrated optical technology, the company has been using its Gen-2 satellites, which are bigger than previous CubeSat standards and weigh over 100 kilograms.[4]

Kepler uses optical as its key technology for building space communication networks. Its test satellites, KIPP, CASE, and TARS, were constructed by Glasgow-based AAC.[6] Kepler then started to develop its operational satellites in-house. In 2022, the company signed a contract with Germany’s Tesat-Spacecom to build an in-space communication network with its laser communication terminals.[7] In addition, Kepler Communications began its partnership with Houston-based AXIOM Space and Broomfield-based Skyloom Global to initiate Optical Inter-Satellite Links (OISLs) in the following year. Through the partnership, Kepler will participate in the transformation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) into a global space marketplace in the future.[8][9]

The launch of Kepler's first satellite, KIPP, in January 2018.

Satellites constellations


Bearing the same name of the company, the Kepler constellation is a constellation of cubesats for Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) and inter-satellite communications services. The first three cubesats sent in orbit served as technology demonstrator and were built in a 3U format. The first two of them (KIPP and CASE) were built by AAC Clyde Space[6] while the third (TARS) by ÅAC Microtec,[10] and they have been named after the fictitious US Marine Corps robots of the same name in the 2014 film “Interstellar”.[11] KIPP and CASE, which travel at speeds in excess of 7 kilometers per second, have software installed to compensate for Doppler shift.[12]

The operational satellites are built on a 6U format and they're based on the Spartan cubesat platform, developed by Kepler Communicaitons in cooperation with UTIAS-SFL. As of April 2023 the constellation has grown to include, in addition to the three pathfinders, 18 operational satellites.[13] Company officials have stated a goal of growing their constellation up to 140 units,[14] all located in Sun-Synchronous polar orbits, approximately 575 km above the Earth's surface.

List of satellites
Name COSPAR Catalog N° Launch date Launch vehicle
Test satellites
Kepler 0 KIPP 2018-008D 43157 19 January 2018 Long March 11
Kepler 1 CASE 2018-096L 43729 29 November 2018 PSLV-CA
Kepler 2 TARS 2020-061AZ 46319 3 September 2020 Falcon 9 Block 5
Operational satellites
Kepler 4 Antilles 2020-068N 46499 28 September 2020 Falcon 9 Block 5
Kepler 5 Amidala 2020-068P 46498
Kepler 6 Rocinante 2021-022Z 47955 22 March 2021 Soyuz-2.1a
Kepler 7 C3PO 2021-022T 47949
Kepler 8 Amarok 2021-006BR 47476 24 January 2021 Falcon 9 Block 5
Kepler 9 Artemis 2021-006DX 47531
Kepler 10 Baby Yoda 2021-006CS 47501
Kepler 11 Daneel 2021-006CU 47503
Kepler 12 Boba 2021-006AK 47446
Kepler 13 Lucky 2021-006AT 47454
Kepler 14 Stella 2021-006DS 47526
Kepler 15 Sudormrf 2021-006BA 47461
Kepler 16 Astraeus 2022-002CB 51057 13 January 2022 Falcon 9 Block 5
Kepler 17 Karina 2022-002CD 51059
Kepler 18 Blip-A 2022-002U 51002
Kepler 19 2022-002BV 51051
Kepler 20 2022-054AR 56217 15 April 2023 Falcon 9 Block 5
Kepler 21 2023-054AS 56218

The Kepler Network

The Kepler Network, previously known as the Aether Network, is the company’s optical constellation based on data relay Gen-2 satellites to provide in-space real-time connectivity for orbiting spacecraft moving past the need to rely on ground stations. [15] It will be able to provide data on-demand at up to 2.5 Gigabit-per-second for the end-user through a combination of optical, S-band, and Ku-band technologies.[16] Access to the network will be granted to third-party satellites and other spacecraft equipped with SDA-compatible optical terminals.[17][18] The first two satellites of the constellation have been launched on 11 November 2023 as part of SpaceX Transporter-9 rideshare mission.[19][4]

List of satellites
Name COSPAR Catalog N° Launch date Launch vehicle
Aether-1 2023-174AB 58281 11 November 2023 Falcon 9 Block 5
Aether-2 2023-174AV 58299


  1. ^ Henry, Caleb (2018-07-11). "Kepler to co-develop third satellite with UK's Satellite Applications Catapult". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c Sheetz, Michael (2021-06-09). "Start-up Kepler raises $60 million to expand in-space data communications network, add US office". CNBC. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  3. ^ a b Rainbow, Jason (2021-06-09). "Kepler unveils expansion plans after $60 million funding round". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  4. ^ a b c Rainbow, Jason (2023-04-13). "Kepler Communications raises $92 million for optical data relay network". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  5. ^ Swinhoe, Dan (2023-04-14). "Kepler Communications raises $92 million for optical satellite relay network". Data Center Dynamics. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
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  7. ^ Jewett, Rachel (2022-06-09). "Kepler Selects Tesat Optical Inter-Satellite Links for Constellation". Via Satellite. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  8. ^ Jewett, Rachel (2023-12-19). "Axiom Space Partners With Kepler and Skyloom to Demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Links". Via Satellite. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  9. ^ "Kepler Communications Inc". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  10. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "TARS (Kepler 2, IOD 5)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  11. ^ Interstellar, retrieved 2019-06-12
  12. ^ Mitry, Mina (2020). "Routers In Space". IEEE Spectrum. 57 (2): 43.
  13. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Kepler 4, ..., 21". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  14. ^ Mitry, Mina (2020). "Routers In Space". IEEE Spectrum. 57 (2): 40.
  15. ^ Rainbow, Jason (23 December 2021). "Kepler plots relay network to serve thousands of satellite terminals". Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  16. ^ "Kepler Selects TESAT to Provide Optical Terminals for Next Generation Constellation". SpaceRef. 8 June 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  17. ^ Boucher, Mark (10 May 2022). "Spire Global to use Kepler Communications Aether-KU payload on up to 50 satellites". SpaceQ. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  18. ^ Rainbow, Jason (14 April 2022). "Kepler validates intersatellite data-relay terminal". Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  19. ^ Lentz, Danny (11 November 2023). "SpaceX Transporter 9 rideshare features new OTV from Tom Mueller's Impulse Space". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 11 November 2023.