March 14, 2018 | Israeli aerospace startup Effective Space Solutions and US-based global commercial launch services provider International Launch Services (ILS) announced Tuesday that they will launch two Effective Space “Space Drone” spacecraft into orbit in 2020, according to a statement from both companies. The spacecraft will be launched with the ILS Proton Breeze M Vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. “Launching our first two ‘Space Drone’ spacecraft into a geostationary orbit is part of our strong commitment to our first customer, meeting mission timeline and ensuring smooth transition into a life-extension service,” said Arie Halsband, founder and CEO of Effective Space. Each ‘Space Drone’ spacecraft is a 400-kilogram spacecraft that “has a universal, non-intrusive docking system to rendezvous and dock to the geostationary host satellite,” the statement says. The Israeli-founded company, now headquartered in the UK, was founded by Arie Halsband, the former general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries, in 2013. The company also has an R&D center in Tel Aviv. The startup signed a $100 million deal with a large communications satellite operator in January 2018, to prolong the life of two aging satellites. As part of the deal, Effective Space agreed to launch its two “Space Drone” spacecraft in 2020.