Over Fifteen Years of Commitment and Development
RapidEye as a business concept was created in 1996 by the company Kayser-Threde GmbH in Munich, Germany, in response to a call sent out by the DLR (German Aerospace Center) for ideas on how to commercialize satellite based Earth Observation.
In 1998, RapidEye was incorporated in Munich with seed financing from a few private investors, the DLR, and Vereinigte Hagelversicherung (VH), Germany's largest agricultural insurer.
Funding for the satellite constellation and ground segment was secured through the help of the European Union, the State of Brandenburg and a banking consortium consisting of KfW, Commerzbank, and EDC in 2004. Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) was contracted to build our system, and through the CCC, MDA Corporation (MacDonald Detweiller, Ltd.) of Vancouver, Canada became RapidEye's prime contractor on the project.Just after the contracts were signed, we relocated our headquarters from Munich to Brandenburg an der Havel, approximately 60 km southwest of Berlin. After a few years on the western edge of town, we moved our offices to the city center (Neustadt),
Not long after our arrival, our S-band antenna was installed as the “crowning jewel” on top of our building, making the RapidEye headquarters easily identifiable in Brandenburg.
Over the next four years, we grew from a group of 15 to a team of over 100 international experts. During this time, documentation, testing, development and pilot projects were undertaken to support our services business while waiting for the completion of our satellites.
Through subcontracts with MDA, our satellites were built by SSTL (SurreySatellite Technology, Ltd.), in Surrey, UK, and our five band sensors (cameras) were designed and completed by Jena Optronik of Jena, Germany.
The RapidEye satellite constellation was completed and shipped to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan where they were launched on August 29, 2008 at 9:15 a.m., local Brandenburg time.
On August 29, 2011 the Blackbridge Group, Canada, acquired the assets of RapidEye AG.
In January, 2013, RapidEye relocated its headquarters to Berlin, Germany.