On 9 September 2009, a contract was signed between ISC Kosmotras and SSTL for the launch of Nigeria-2 and NigeriaSat-Õ satellites on Dnepr rocket as part of 2010 cluster launch from Yasny Launch Base. According to information provided by SSTL the NigeriaSat-2 satellite is being built for the Nigerian government (NASRDA) as a follow-on to the NigeriaSat-1 satellite that was launched in 2003. NigeriaSat-2 will be manufactured at SSTL (UK) and will carry two payloads: a combined 2.5m GSD panchromatic and 4-band, 5m GSD multi-spectral imager and a 32-metre GSD, 4-band multi-spectral imager with a 300 km ground swath coverage. Its prime objective is to provide high temporal, high-resolution imagery for mapping, food security, disaster monitoring and other purposes. The objective of the NigeriaSat-X satellite, which is being built under the same project, is to provide NASRDA engineers with training in and experience of a flight-standard build leading to an operational imaging spacecraft to complement the existing Customer suite that will monitor rapidly changing phenomena associated with natural and man-made disasters, agriculture and environmental issues. This satellite will carry 22-metre ground sampling distance, 3-band multispectral (Red, Green, NIR) imaging payload with a 600km ground swath coverage.
The primary payload of the cluster launch with participation of the SSTL satellites will be the Sych-2 spacecraft (Ukraine). In addition to Sych-2, Nigeria -2 and Nigeria-Õ, there will be other co-passengers in this cluster launch, namely: the RASAT satellite of TUBITAK UZAY, the Edusat satellite of the Universita Di Roma, other payloads.
A Dnepr rocket with standard configuration having a space head module designed for cluster launches (Type 2.1; more detailed information is provided in Presentation on SHM Types that can be found at ISC Kosmotras web-site) will be used for this launch. This design of SHM allows payload accommodation at two tiers, thus enabling the use of existing payload envelope inside SHM to the maximum.
NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X will become the eighth and ninth spacecraft of SSTL respectively to have been launched on Dnepr LV. Mr. Vladimir A. Andreev, the Director General of ISC Kosmotras, emphasized the importance of the agreement reached between the companies on selecting the Dnepr rocket as a launch vehicle for these satellites, and expressed hope that the relations with SSTL, as one of the key clients for ISC Kosmotras, would progress in future.