A NASA Earth science satellite whose mission is ending this week will remain in orbit through the middle of the century, far longer than required by orbital debris mitigation guidelines.
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.