Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Good Deploy! Eight More Doves in Orbit


It’s been an exciting few days for me and my fellow Spaceship Captains here at Planet Labs. Eight of our Dove satellites deployed from the International Space Station yesterday (May 17, 2016).

Astronaut Jeff Williams captured these incredible photographs of two Doves during deployment:

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Two Flock 2e’ Doves coming out of a Nanoracks deployer. Image: NASA

Flock 2e prime deploy Earth crop-square Two Flock 2e’ Doves above Earth. Image: NASA

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Two Flock 2e’ Doves pass the Space Station’s massive solar array. Image: NASA

And—just for kicks—here’s an animation of the deploy we created using Jeff’s images. Take a look:


As Planet’s “Grand Commissioner”, I’m happy to report that all eight satellites are happily making their way through our automated commissioning process. This process includes detumbling the satellite, calibrating sensors, deploying solar panels, and testing the Dove’s basic functions.

In a few weeks, these Doves will begin their normal imaging operations. I’d like to give a big thanks to our friends at Nanoracks and NASA for coordinating the release of our Doves.