SkySat image of Freeport, Bahamas © 2016, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Planet Doubles Sub-1 Meter Imaging Capacity With Successful Launch Of 6 SkySats


Today, 6 SkySats (SkySat 8-13) and 4 Doves (Flock 3m) successfully launched on an Orbital-ATK Minotaur-C rocket destined for a Sun Synchronous, 500km orbit. Planet is happy to report that all 10 satellites were deployed successfully and that our Mission Control team has made contact with all satellites and begun the commissioning process.

This marks the 20th launch for Planet and our first-ever dedicated launch, which gave us the ability to choose our orbital parameters and timing of the launch. We sent these 10 satellites to an afternoon crossing time of approximately 13:30 (1:30pm) to further diversify our product offerings. Most remote sensing satellites operate in morning-crossing configurations, including our currently on orbit set of 160+ Doves and 7 SkySats, and having the world’s largest fleet of medium and high-res assets in both morning and afternoon crossing times enables a dataset never before provided in the commercial market at this scale.

Image credit: Orbital ATK

Furthermore, the launch of these 6 SkySats will double the sub-1 meter imaging capacity of our current SkySat fleet, providing a deeper understanding about our changing planet. With this expanded capability, decision makers will gain smarter, more timely insights to solve our world’s toughest challenges.

Sending many thanks again to Orbital-ATK, SkySat Manufacturer SSL, L3, ECAPS, Tyvak, and the 30th Space Wing for helping make this launch possible!