Tonight (March 22, 2016) at 11:07pm EDT 20 of our Flock 2e Prime satellites successfully launched into Low Earth Orbit.
The Atlas V rocket launches the Cygnus spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image: NASA.
The Doves of Planet Labs Flock 2e Prime are now safe on board the Cygnus spacecraft, laterally accelerating their way towards the International Space Station. On Saturday (March 25) astronauts on the space station will “catch” the Cygnus using the Canadarm2 and unload our Doves. If you get a chance, tune into the live grappling sequence on NASA TV—they’re really cool.
Flock 2e Prime will remain on the ISS until late spring 2016, when they’ll be deployed into orbit via Nanoracks deployers.
Team Planet celebrates a successful launch with traditional launch day pancakes
This is an especially important launch for Planet, as Flock 2e Prime will increase our on-orbit collection capacity in both true-color(RGB) and near-infrared bands. Two special Flock 2e Prime Doves are tech demos of our next-generation Dove satellite, never before tested in orbit. Once Flock 2e Prime deploys, more imagery data will be flowing into our online platform than ever before.
We’re excited to see these satellites in action this spring. Stay tuned for Flock 2e Prime deployment updates.