The NRO is ready to start buying products from new vendors and move beyond the single-supplier arrangement with Maxar Technologies.
"We expect our investment in commercial in total to increase going forward," said Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate. "As you can imagine with the increase in requirements, there's going to be an increase in the cost.
The National Reconnaissance Office awarded commercial imagery study contracts to BlackSky Global, Maxar Technologies and Planet, Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate, announced June 3.
As LeoStella inaugurated the factory that will be used to produce a series of Earth imaging satellites, the joint venture of Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries continues to look for other customers.
With the SpaceX rideshare launch, Atlas Space Operations welcomed its first Defense Department customer into its cloud-based ground station network.
Geospatial data companies are focusing intently on acquiring satellite imagery quickly and speeding data delivery to customers.
Spaceflight Industries announced March 13 that it has raised $150 million to fund development of the next phase of its BlackSky Earth imaging constellation, with Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio taking minority stakes.
Spaceflight Industries said March 6 that the first operational satellite for its BlackSky Earth imaging constellation is now complete and awaiting launch later this year.
BlackSky CEO and founder Jason Andrews announced the partnership Sept. 15 during the closing day of Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week here.
Earth-observation startups are investing in data analytics and machine learning to transform raw satellite data into marketable insights they say have the potential to be every bit as indispensable to investors and business leaders as the up-to-the-second analytics they get from the likes of a $20,000-a-year Bloomberg terminal subscription.
India’s PSLV rocket on Sept. 26 successfully placed the Indian SCATSAT-1 meteorological satellite and seven co-passengers into separate polar low Earth orbits.
Spaceflight Industries announced June 21 that it has raised $18 million that the company will use to acquire a software company to support its plans for a constellation of Earth imaging satellites.
Established providers of optical Earth observation imagery looking over their shoulders at the swarm of new competitors rushing their way can ask their investors to believe growing global demand will be good for everyone, or that they can maintain their revenue base with differentiated products.
A start-up company with financial backing from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital among others will begin launching a constellation of 60 50-kilogram satellites providing one-meter-resolution optical imaging this year.