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WASHINGTON — Business distant sensing firm Planet introduced Feb. 3 it was buying rival Terra Bella from Google for an undisclosed sum, bringing collectively what the businesses imagine are complementary capabilities to picture the Earth from house.
Underneath the deal, rumored to be within the works since December, Planet will purchase Terra Bella’s enterprise, together with its constellation of seven SkySat satellites. Google will even signal a multi-year contract to buy imaging information from Planet.
The businesses didn’t instantly disclose the phrases of the deal, and Planet spokesman Trevor Hammond mentioned Feb. 3 the businesses wouldn’t share the monetary and different enterprise particulars of the settlement. Google acquired Terra Bella, then generally known as Skybox Imaging, in 2014 for $500 million.
In line with the announcement, an unspecified variety of staff of Terra Bella, primarily based in Mountain View, California, will be part of San Francisco-based Planet. Hammond declined to reveal a selected quantity however mentioned a “vital” variety of Terra Bella staff will be part of Planet.
“I can converse for everybody at Planet after I say that we’re extremely enthusiastic about this chance,” Will Marshall, co-founder and chief government of Planet, mentioned in an announcement saying the deal. “We’ve lengthy admired what the crew at Terra Bella has achieved and we expect the SkySat constellation of seven excessive decision satellites is very complementary to Planet’s present medium-resolution 60-satellite fleet.”
Based in 2009, Skybox Imaging raised greater than $90 million earlier than being acquired by Google. The corporate developed its first high-resolution imaging satellites in-house and signed a contract with House Programs Loral to construct 13 satellites shortly earlier than being acquired by Google. 5 of these satellites have since been launched, together with 4 on a Vega rocket in September 2016.
Planet, based in 2010 as Cosmogia and later altering its title to Planet Labs, has raised greater than $150 million so far. It has targeted on offering medium-resolution photographs from cubesat-class spacecraft, with plans to develop a constellation able to imaging the complete planet day-after-day.
The deal just isn’t Planet’s first acquisition of a distant sensing satellite tv for pc operator. In 2015 it acquired BlackBridge, which operated the RapidEye fleet of 5 distant sensing satellites with capabilities much like Planet’s fleet of Dove satellites.
Each Planet and Terra Bella officers emphasised that the acquisition is a complementary one, leveraging the high-resolution imagery from the SkySat system with the rising catalog of medium-resolution photographs from Planet’s Dove and RapidEye satellites. Planet famous in its announcement that the deal will permit the corporate to “diversify its out there information and options and be capable of serve new prospects and markets.”
“From the beginning, Planet and Terra Bella have shared related visions and approached aerospace know-how from a like-minded place, and whereas our on-orbit property and information are completely different, collectively we convey distinctive and worthwhile capabilities to customers,” John Fenwick, co-founder of Terra Bella, mentioned in an announcement.
Each corporations had been planning to launch further satellites this 12 months. Earlier Feb. 3, Planet introduced it deliberate to launch 88 Dove satellites into sun-synchronous orbit on an Indian Polar Satellite tv for pc Launch Automobile (PSLV) Feb. 14. The satellites, probably the most launched at one time by Planet, can be a part of a payload of greater than 100 small satellites on that PSLV mission.
Terra Bella was scheduled to launch six SkySat spacecraft on an Orbital ATK Minotaur-C later this 12 months from Vandenberg Air Power Base in California. The standing of that launch wasn’t explicitly famous within the announcement, but it surely did state that “the biggest launches but for each Terra Bella and Planet [are] scheduled for this 12 months.” Hammond mentioned that the launch manifests for each corporations would stay unchanged.