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

Here Come the Satellites: Flock 2e and Flock 2e' to Deploy


Right now, eight Dove satellites are on board the International Space Station (ISS), packed in Nanoracks deployers, and ready to take flight. A mix of Dove satellites from two Planet Labs flocks—Flock 2e and Flock 2e’—will deploy into orbit over the course of one day: May 17, 2016.

Our Doves will be deployed two at a time, over four deployment windows. When the Doves are deployed, the spring-loaded deployer opens its doors, pushing the Doves into orbit at a relative speed of about 1 meter per second. It looks like this:

A cosmonaut captures the July 13, 2015 deployment of Planet Labs Flock 1e

NanoRacks already successfully deployed other cubesats this morning (May 16, 2016):

Team Planet sends a big congrats to the teams that have their satellites in orbit!

This round of deployments is particularly important to us at Planet. Two of our next-generation satellites will be tested on orbit for the first time. These technology demonstrations are the thirteenth iteration of our satellite design.

It will be an exciting few months for our Mission Control team. These eight Doves, are the first in their flocks to be deployed and we expect the remaining 24 satellites from Flock 2e and Flock 2e’ – also aboard the ISS – to deploy in the coming months.

To stay up to date with our deployments, follow @planetlabs and @dovesinspace on Twitter. @dovesinspace tweets as each new satellite in orbit makes first contact. As always, astronauts will capture the deployments with their trusty cameras from the windows of the Space Station. Stay tuned for an update with some incredible astronaut photos!