Planet and SpaceX announce multiyear launch agreement

SAN FRANCISCO – Planet introduced a multiyear settlement Aug. 5 that designates SpaceX because the Earth-observation firm’s “go-to-launch supplier by means of the top of 2025.”

Planet didn’t reveal the variety of satellites or launches coated by the settlement. Within the first launch coated by the deal, Planet is making ready to ship 44 SuperDoves into orbit in December on the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-3 rideshare mission.

“I’m excited to proceed our partnership with SpaceX,” Planet CEO Will Marshall stated in a press release. “We’ve had seven launches to this point. However greater than that, we’ve pioneered collectively fast planning, manufacturing and launch of satellites that solely Planet and SpaceX might collectively have achieved.”

Planet launched 48 SuperDoves on the SpaceX Transporter-1 mission in January, increasing its Earth commentary fleet to greater than 200 satellites. SuperDoves seize imagery with a decision of about 3 meters per pixel in eight spectral bands.

SpaceX additionally transported a complete of six Planet SkySats to orbit in June 2020 and August 2020 alongside SpaceX Starlink broadband satellites. SkySats supply 50-centimeter decision.

In a information launch asserting the settlement with SpaceX, Planet attributes skyrocketing “demand for versatile, high-resolution imagery of the Earth” to firms looking for “day by day world insights for his or her industries.”

Planet is understood for regularly updating satellite tv for pc {hardware} and software program. With the 44 SuperDoves set to fly in December, Planet is “persevering with to innovate by quickly constructing satellites with the latest advances in imagery know-how,” in accordance with the information launch.

SpaceX rideshare missions have confirmed to be extraordinarily well-liked. The Transporter-1 mission flew 143 satellites and the Transporter-2 launch June 30 lofted one other 88.

“SpaceX’s rideshare program has allowed firms like Planet to fulfill their bold targets for product launch,” in accordance with the Planet information launch.

Tom Ochinero, SpaceX vp of business gross sales, stated in a press release, “We’re honored that Planet has chosen SpaceX as its go-to launch supplier. Because the demand for Planet’s companies continues to soar, SpaceX’s common launch cadence will permit Planet’s clients to make use of its companies with as little downtime after manufacturing as attainable.”

Whereas SpaceX is turning into Planet’s go-to-launch supplier, Planet will proceed to signal offers with different launch suppliers. “Planet maintains a diversified launch manifest to mitigate dangers inherent to the launch trade,” the information launch stated.

Reserving rides on many various rockets has been a key factor of Planet’s success in constructing the world’s largest Earth-observation constellation. Planet misplaced 26 satellites within the 2014 failure of an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket, eight extra within the 2015 breakup of a SpaceX Falcon 9 and one other 5 in July 2020 when a Rocket Lab Electron failed to achieve orbit.

“By partaking with a diversified manifest, Planet can discover launches to the fitting orbit in the fitting timeframe for every evolving satellite tv for pc mission,” the information launch stated.

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