A total of 30 small satellites flew as secondary payloads with the Indian Space Research Organisation’s HysIS hyperspectral imaging satellite when it launched Nov. 29 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on the Indian island of Sriharikota at 11:28 p.m. Eastern.
Leaps in capabilities of commercial constellations of small Earth-observation satellites and the decreasing cost of their services were at the center of a debate about the future of publicly funded Earth-observation missions after Spire CEO Peter Platzer introduced the company’s ambition to become “the Amazon” of space.
The European Space Agency plans to launch an Earth observation satellite equipped with an artificially intelligent processor that would enable the spacecraft to make decisions regarding what to image and which data to send to the ground.
Earth observation startup Planet laid off dozens of employees July 13. The move affected less than ten percent of the firm's workforce, a company spokesperson said.
Planet and Airbus Defense and Space’s geospatial division have agreed to co-develop imagery products that leverage both companies’ satellites.
The remote sensing industry is trying to contribute to “global transparency,” said Walter Scott, chief technology officer of Maxar Technologies and founder of DigitalGlobe.
Geospatial data companies are focusing intently on acquiring satellite imagery quickly and speeding data delivery to customers.
"We are trying to effectively link air, land, sea and space. The geospatial context on the ground may give you some type of indications and warning of something happening in space," said Chirag Parikh, director of NGA's Office of Source Strategies.
Stymied by extended regulatory delays, Planet is planning to remove a ground station it built in Canada if it does not receive a government license for it by June.
Planet and Spire, operators of the two largest commercial cubesat constellations in orbit, say they manage their fleets to prevent retired spacecraft from lingering in space beyond internationally accepted guidelines.
The number of small satellites launched in 2017 exceeded even the most optimistic forecasts, but continued growth of the market will require new companies to start deploying constellations in the next few years.
The successful launch of an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Jan. 11 marked not just the return to flight of the rocket but also major achievements for several of the companies with payloads on board the vehicle.
SpaceNews honored during an awards luncheon held Dec. 19 at the City Club of Washington. The luncheon was organized in partnership with the Washington Space Business Roundtable.
Having achieved its original goal of taking images of the entire planet every day, Planet is now focusing on developing machine learning capabilities to convert that imagery into actionable, and lucrative, insights.
A prominent venture capitalist who has been a key investor and supporter of commercial space efforts has left the firm he co-founded and is taking a leave of absence from the board of SpaceX.