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

We’ve Miniaturized. Now It’s Time to Mega-size.

Stories

Last fall, Planet completed Mission 1: imaging the Earth’s entire landmass every single day. It was a landmark achievement and a first in the history of humanity. But the big question on everyone’s minds since has been, Now what?

We’ve kept intentionally quiet over the past few months, but today, we’re ready to announce the next phase of Planet: Mission 2: Megasats.

Satellites have been historically big, expensive, and slow. What we’ve realized is they were never built big enough to reach their true potential. Size has always been a strategic advantage for Planet. We cornered the market on small satellites. Now it’s time we corner the market on mega satellites – at scale that has never been achieved before.

Mission 2 takes Planet to the next level: imaging the entire solar system on a daily basis. Picture this –

  • Single capture of the entire solar system
  • So much data, you’ll drown in it
  • Machine learning insights delivered straight from the Oort cloud
  • Decades-long build cycles
  • Space junk with its own gravitational field

What does this mean for the solar system? A radically new dataset that can be fed into machine learning algorithms for insights on:

  • Monitoring frontier moon bases
  • Space weather forecasting
  • Precision terraforming
  • Asteroid commodities trading  
The project is in collaboration with SpaceX — whose newly announced ‘BFR’ launcher is ideally suited to these mega satellites. With a throw mass of 200 tonnes to orbit, it can just about launch 1 megasatellite.

“Apart from going to Mars, there’s few use cases for such a large rocket, but we found one,” said Will Marshall, CEO and co-founder of Planet.

Pushing physical limits has always been the Planet way. We hope you join us on this next, exciting chapter that will revolutionize the way we understand our changing solar system on a massive scale and open new frontiers in commerce.

 

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