This week, twelve of our Doves were deployed from the Kibo Experimental Module of the ISS. Ten of our Flock 1b Doves and two Flock 1d’ Doves are now traveling at 8km per second 400km above Earth.
An astronaut from ISS Mission 42 captured stunning, hi-res photos of our first Flock 1b deployment at 6:30am PST on February 27, 2015. Check out these animations our team created using NASA imagery:
The successful deployment of Flock 1d’ (March 2, 2015) proved to be a cathartic moment for our team. A little background: on October 28, 2014, twenty six of our Flock 1d Doves were lost in the Antares explosion. These Doves were packed with several important technical demonstrations that we were unable to test in orbit. Immediately following the explosion, our team assembled two Flock 1d’ Doves in just 9 days to replace the lost Flock 1d Doves. Our ISS orbit deployment partner, Nanoracks, snapped into action, helping us secure a ride for Flock 1d’ aboard the SpaceX-5 Falcon 9 CRS-5 mission to the ISS, which launched on January 10, 2015.
The Planet team, friends, and family gathered together this week to watch the Flock 1d’ deployment. After a handful of delays, Flock 1d’ successfully deployed at 7pm PST on March 2, 2015. Our Mission Ops Team will closely monitor their health as they detumble and begin regular operations.
We’re thrilled to begin testing these new Flock 1d’ technologies. This deployment series validates our iterative approach to satellite design/manufacturing, and more importantly, pushes us one step closer to our primary goal: to image our entire planet every day.