Peter Wegner, Spaceflight Industries chief technology officer, is convinced the killer app for small satellites is imagery. Joe Rothenberg, the former engineering director for Terra Bella, the Earth-imaging company purchased by Google, isn't so sure.
Google acquired what was then known as Skybox Imaging in 2014 for an estimated $500 million but now appears interested in selling the company as it seeks to cut costs.
In a move designed to expand its geospatial services business and U.S. government customer base, DigitalGlobe Inc. announced plans Oct. 11 to pay $140 million to acquire The Radiant Group, a geospatial information company based in Chantilly, Virginia.
Wednesday's briefing begins with China's successful launch of a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar satellite.
Earth imaging company UrtheCast laid off 12 members of its San Francisco-based platform and data analytics team July 1 and offered three additional employees the option to remain with the company but work remotely, according to a former UrtheCast employee.
Investor enthusiasm remains strong for companies that provide information drawn from Earth observation satellites, judging by $20 million in new investments for geospatial data company Orbital Insight.
Planetary Resources, a company with long-term plans to perform asteroid mining, announced May 26 it has raised $21.1 million to develop a satellite system for Earth observation.
The Merlin satellite, six years behind schedule and expected to cost 250 million euros, is slated to launch in 2020 on a European rocket.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced plans Nov. 19 to work with two companies to develop a constellation of satellite sensors to provide early detection of wildfires.
UrtheCast had been investing in a second-generation camera system for the space station, but has shifted focus to prepare for a 16-satellite constellation of eight optical and eight synthetic-aperture radar satellites in low Earth orbit.
The European Commission and the U.S. government have reached an agreement under which U.S. agencies will have free access to Europe’s Copernicus environment-monitoring satellite constellation.
Vinsight, a Silicon Valley startup, is hoping to change the way vineyards do business by offering farmers a way to estimate crop yield that combines satellite imagery with weather and ground sensor data.
The Jilin-1 launch is the latest example of China’s lightning-fast transformation from satellite imagery importer to producer.