48 SuperDoves Join Planet’s Constellation To Deliver Global Daily Data

Falcon 9 launches Transporter-1 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Planet PR) — 48 SuperDoves, our Flock 4s, were successfully delivered to orbit today on SpaceX’s Transporter-1 mission. This record-setting launch carried 143 satellites to orbit – the most spacecraft ever deployed on a single mission.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches D-Orbit ION Satellite Carrier with 20 Spacecraft Aboard

COMO, Italy (D-Orbit PR) — On January 24th, 2021, at 4:00 pm CET, we launched another ION Satellite Carrier atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 1 hour 16 minutes and 28 seconds the vehicle was successfully deployed into a polar orbit.

The spacecraft, named ION SCV Laurentius, is an upgraded and enhanced version of the vehicle launched in the fall of 2020, which precisely deployed twelve satellites in orbit. 

​During its mission, named PULSE, the vehicle will deploy 20 satellites, among which eight SuperDoves from Earth imaging company Planet Labs, and perform the in-orbit demonstration of two optical payloads from EICAS and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) respectively, among other experiments on unique payloads

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SpaceX Launches Record 143 Satellites

Falcon 9 launches Transporter-1 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

SpaceX set a new world record on Sunday by launching 143 satellites into Earth orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The Sunday morning polar orbit launch included 133 commercial and government spacecraft along with 10 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband communications constellation. The launch was conducted from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

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NGA Adds BlackSky Global, Planet Federal Imagery to Unclassified Delivery System

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (NGA PR) – The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s primary unclassified delivery system now features small satellite commercial imagery, enabling federal government and international partners increased access to geospatial data to meet mission demands. 

The G-EGD system, first introduced in 2011, consisted of only of MAXAR/Digital Globe imagery, but the addition of Planet Federal and BlackSky Global data represents the first time that small satellite imagery has been integrated into the delivery system.

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D-Orbit Announces Successful Origin Satellite Deployment Mission

The satellite carrier completes deployment of all 12 SuperDove satellites

FINO MORNASCO, Italy D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the in-orbit transportation company, announced the successful completion of the deployment phase of Origin mission, the first of ION Satellite Carrier. ION, D-Orbit’s satellite platform, successfully released 12 SuperDove satellites for Earth-imaging company Planet, in the precise orbital slots requested by the client.

The vehicle has been operational since September 3rd, when it was successfully released from an Arianespace Vega launcher. On September 25th, it released successfully the first SuperDove satellite of the batch, and the last satellite was deployed on October 28th, at 10:38:46 UTC.

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Rocket Lab Demonstrates Flexible In-space Transportation with New Kick Stage Maneuver

Kick Stage in orbit. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab’s Kick Stage successfully completed plane change in orbit for the first time, further demonstrating the Kick Stage’s ability to enable custom orbits for small sats.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — This week Rocket Lab demonstrated an advanced capability of its Kick Stage acting as a space tug during the company’s 15th launch, the ‘In Focus’ mission that launched satellites for Planet and Canon on October 28th UTC.

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Rocket Lab Launches 10 Earth Imaging Satellites

Electron launches with 10 satellites on Oct. 29, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

MAHIA PENINSULA, New Zeland — Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket launched 10 small satellites into Earth orbit on Wednesday (Thursday local time) from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.

The “In Focus” rideshare mission orbited nine SuperDove Earth imaging satellites for Planet of San Francisco and a microsatellite with several telescopes aboard for Canon Electronics of Japan.

It was Rocket Lab’s Electron’s 15th launch overall and the fifth flight of the booster in 2020. The company has a record of 13 successes and two failures.

Planet’s nine SuperDove spacecraft were deployed into 500 km (311 mile) high sun synchronous orbits using Rocket Lab’s Maxwell satellite dispensers. They join Planet’s constellation of medium-resolution imaging satellites.

Canon Electronics’ CE-SAT-IIB is a technological demonstration satellite has a middle-sized telescope equipped with an ultra-high sensitivity camera capable of taking night images of the Earth. The spacecraft also has small-size telescopes suitable for CubeSat use.

Powerful Analytics Paired with Robust Satellite Imagery: Aspectum and Planet Enter into a Partnership

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2020 (Aspectum PR) — Aspectum and Planet have announced the formation of a strategic partnership to offer businesses turnkey change and object detection projects based on satellite imagery. From now on, Aspectum users are able to access customized maps that feature analytics and high-resolution data from Planet’s constellations of satellites.

Planet is the leading provider of global, near-daily satellite imagery data and insights that pilots the world’s largest active fleet of Earth-imaging satellites. The company provides a wide array of imagery and analytic solutions available through Planet Explorer. Planet’s mission lies in better understanding the daily changes of the Earth and making them both accessible and actionable. The company prides itself on providing insights in near real-time, approach to agile aerospace, and cutting-edge solutions for complete geospatial data and analytics.

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KSAT, Planet, and Airbus Awarded First-Ever Global Contract to Combat Deforestation

Global map showing the extent of monthly Planet Basemaps to be provided through the partnership for tropical forest monitoring. (Credit: Planet Labs)

KSAT will together with partners Planet and Airbus deliver satellite-based optical imagery for deforestation monitoring and control to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) in a 4 year Groundbreaking agreement.

TROMSO, Norway (KSAT PR) — Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment has awarded an international contract to KSAT who together with Planet, and Airbus provide universal access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics in order to support efforts to stop deforestation and save the world’s tropical forests. The contract is valued up to 405M NOK (~$43.5M, ~37M €). 

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Rocket Lab To Launch Commercial Earth-Imaging Rideshare Mission For Planet, Canon Electronics

Electron lifts off with Capella Space synthetic aperture radar satellite on Aug. 31, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

LONG BEACH, Calif., 21 September 2020 (Rocket Lab PR) – Leading space systems company, Rocket Lab, has today announced its next Electron launch will be a rideshare mission to low Earth orbit for Planet and Spaceflight Inc.’s customer Canon Electronics.

The mission – named ‘In Focus’ in a nod to the Earth-imaging satellites onboard – will lift-off in October from Rocket Lab’s private orbital launch site, Launch Complex 1, in New Zealand. The mission will deploy a total of 10 satellites to precise and individual orbits.

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What’s On Board Vega Booster

The European Vega rocket that launched this evening was carrying 53 satellites on its first rideshare mission as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

The payloads included 14 Flock 4V Earth imaging satellites from Planet, 12 SpaceBEE Internet of Things spacecraft from Swarm Technologies, and 8 maritime monitoring satellites from Spire.

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SpaceX Starlink Launch Scheduled for Tuesday

Falcon 9 payload shroud. (Credit: SpaceX)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Tuesday, August 18 at 10:31 a.m. EDT for launch of its eleventh Starlink mission, which will include 58 Starlink satellites and three of Planet’s SkySats. Falcon 9 will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019, and three separate Starlink missions in May 2019, January 2020, and June 2020.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the fourth launch of Starlink.

Planet’s SkySats will deploy sequentially beginning about 12 and a half minutes after liftoff, and the Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 46 minutes after liftoff.

You can watch the launch webcast here, starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. If you would like to receive updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area, please visit starlink.com.

Frontier Development Lab Continues High-stakes AI Research Despite COVID-19

LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) —Frontier Development Lab (FDL) – an artificial intelligence research accelerator for space science – has kicked off its 2020 program on a virtual platform with researchers and faculty from across the globe.  

The Luxembourg Space Agency partners with FDL for the 4th consecutive year.

The teams, comprised of early-career PhDs in AI and interdisciplinary science domains, are supported by subject matter experts from NASA (including NASA Headquarters, NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center) and the SETI Institute together with FDL Partners: Google Cloud, Mayo Clinic, Lockheed Martin, MIT, USGS, IBM, Intel AI, Luxembourg Space Agency, NVIDIA, Planet and Augustus Intelligence. Along with expertise, FDL partner organisations support advanced AI research by providing funding, hardware, AI/ML algorithms, datasets, software and cloud-based super-compute resources.

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Unlucky 13: Rocket Lab Electron Launch Fails

Electron’s second stage fires. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Rocket Lab’s 13th launch of its Electron booster was unlucky today, with a failure of the second stage sending seven small satellites to burn up in the atmosphere instead of entering orbit after launch from Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

“An issue was experienced today during Rocket Lab’s launch that caused the loss of the vehicle. We are deeply sorry to the customers on board Electron. The issue occurred late in the flight during the 2nd stage burn. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” the company tweeted.

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