Rocket Lab, the U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, said Sept. 26 that it will fly four cubesats from two companies on the rocket’s next test flight late this year.
FinSpace winner LeoLabs working with Planet to show how commercial data helps satellite operators avoid collisions
For six months, Planet has been sharing with LeoLabs the conjunction warnings it receives from U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base. LeoLabs uses the data to provide Planet with additional information on debris threatening its satellites.
Operating while in orbit is the next big challenge for the space sector, be it manufacturing, assembly, satellite servicing, or debris removal, experts said.
As Planet prepares to complete its initial constellation of remote sensing satellites, a ground station it built in northern Canada to communicate with those spacecraft remains offline because of delays in receiving a government license there.
Planet announced plans June 5 to offer data from its constellation of global Earth-imaging cubesats through Harris Geospatial’s ENVI desktop platform, which means customers will be able to use the data with ENVI image-analysis software to detect day-to-day changes, classify objects and extract geographic features.
As Planet announced it has completed its acquisition of rival satellite imaging company Terra Bella April 18, it confirmed that Google is now a shareholder in Planet as part of that deal.
Planet, the San Francisco startup that began building a constellation five years ago to offer frequently updated Earth imagery, took a major step towards achieving that goal March 10 when it unveiled Planet Explorer Beta, an online geospatial data tool.
Rumors began circulating in December that two leaders in the small satellite Earth imaging field were on the brink of deal, when employees of Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Terra Bella began visiting the offices of San Francisco-based Planet. Although the two companies have not confirmed an agreement, Bloomberg reported Jan. 9 that Planet was in talks to acquire Terra Bella, the Mountain View, California company formerly known as Skybox Imaging.
Geospatial imagery and services provider DigitalGlobe on Oct. 25 reported increased revenue and gross profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 with a surprisingly large increase in commercial business.
India’s PSLV rocket on June 22 delivered the Indian Cartosat-2C high-resolution optical Earth observation into a 507-kilometer polar low Earth orbit along with 19 smaller satellites including 13 U.S. commercial spacecraft.