Space Launch Complex 40 at Kennedy Space Center, with a Falcon 9 on the pad. © 2020, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.
AUTHOR PROFILE Chester Gillmore
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Planet to Launch 44 SuperDove Satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket


Planet’s Flock 4x, consisting of 44 SuperDove satellites, is set to launch this Thursday, January 13th on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-3 SSO. This marks the first satellite launch under our new multi-year, multi-launch rideshare agreement with SpaceX. 

With this launch, Planet will have more than 200 satellites in orbit. Flock 4x is set to replenish our existing SuperDove fleet which makes up a portion of the larger constellation. The PlanetScope constellation images every terrestrial landmass on Earth by covering 350 million km² each day, providing images with approximately 3 meter per pixel resolution. This unprecedented capability provides our customers with daily data about Earth resources and global events.

SpaceX’s Transporter 3 rocket on launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 12, 2022. Image credit: SpaceX

“We are thrilled to be launching our latest flock with SpaceX. Their reliability and leadership in the launch market makes them a natural choice for this mission. Flock 4x will provide the PlanetScope constellation with the latest and strongest capabilities to help meet customer needs,” said Planet CEO Will Marshall. 

To date, we’ve launched 83 satellites with SpaceX across seven launches. This first launch under our latest rideshare agreement with the launch provider marks an important moment in the current space renaissance. Over the last 10 years, rocket launches have dropped in price and increased in frequency while satellites have dramatically decreased in size, allowing for greater numbers of satellites to be launched on each rocket. 

The unprecedented amount of Earth imaging data our entire fleet collects enables global analytics of planetary activity and resources. With Flock 4x, our data products will continue to provide high-cadence Earth insights for governments, NGOs, and companies working in sustainability, disaster relief, financial management, and security. 

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Forward-looking Statements

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, whether Flock 4x will successfully replenish Planet’s existing SuperDove fleet; Planet’s constellation of satellites, including Flock 4x, being able to meet its customers’ needs; and whether Planet’s constellation of satellites will be able to provide Earth insights for governments, NGOs, and companies working in sustainability, disaster relief, financial management, and security. Forward-looking statements are based on Planet’s management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to them. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future financial and operating results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to: Planet’s limited operating history making it difficult to predict its future operating results; Planet’s expectations that its operating expenses will increase substantially for the foreseeable future; whether the market for Planet’s products and services that is built upon our data set, which has not existing before, will grow as expected; whether current customers or prospective customers adopt Planet’s platform; whether Planet will be able to compete effectively with the increasing competition in its market from commercial entities and governments; Planet’s international operations creating business and economic risks that could impact its operations and financial results; the interruption or failure of Planet’s satellite operations, information technology infrastructure or loss of its data storage, whether by cyber-attacks or other adverse events that limit its ability to perform our daily operations effectively and provide its products and services; whether Planet experiences any adverse events, such as delayed launches, launch failures, its satellites failing to reach their planned orbital locations, its satellites failing to operate as intended, being destroyed or otherwise becoming inoperable, the cost of satellite launches significantly increasing and/or satellite launch providers not having sufficient capacity; Planet’s satellites not being able to capture Earth images due to weather, natural disasters or other external factors, or as a result of its constellation of satellites having restrained capacity; if Planet is unable to develop and release product and service enhancements to respond to rapid technological change, or to develop new designs and technologies for its satellites, in a timely and cost-effective manner; downturns or volatility in general economic conditions, including as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic or any other outbreak of an infectious disease; the loss of one or more of Planet’s key personnel, or its failure to attract, hire, retain and train other highly qualified personnel in the future; Planet’s ability to raise adequate capital, including on acceptable terms, to finance its business strategies; the impact Planet’s indebtedness has on its ability to raise additional capital to fund operations, operate its business and react to changes in the economy or its industry; how rules and regulations in Planet’s highly regulated industry may impact its business; if Planet fails to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting at a reasonable assurance level; and the other factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed by Planet with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any subsequent filings with the SEC Planet may make. Copies of each filing may be obtained from Planet or the SEC. All forward-looking statements reflect Planet’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. Planet undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.