Hyderabad: Planet Labs, a US-based integrated aerospace and data analytics company, said here on Wednesday that four of Planet’s Dove spacecraft would be launched aboard the forthcoming PSLV-C40 flight, scheduled to fly in early January 2018.
The announcement was made in the backdrop of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) here. The primary payload for this mission is a Cartosat-2 Series satellite and Planet’s four satellites will ride as secondary payloads in this mission.
This is the third time in less than 24 months that Planet will launch from India on a PSLV rocket, a company statement said. In February, 88 Planet Dove satellites, the largest satellite constellation ever to reach orbit, travelled on the PSLV-C37 as part of ISRO’s record-breaking launch of 104 satellites.
The four Dove satellites on this launch are tech demos responsible for testing improvements to several of the satellite subsystems, including the camera technology, thermal control, and altitude determination and control system. Planet launches tech demo satellites several times a year to ensure they are using the latest and most advanced technology. These advancements are then incorporated into future operational fleets, the statement said.
“We’ve been very pleased with our working relationship with Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). When Planet proposed to send a record-breaking 88 satellites to orbit on a single launch, they accepted the challenge without hesitation, and they delivered,” said Karthik Govindhasamy, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Engineering at Planet.
“We have a rich history with Planet and we are proud to be a reliable launch partner that they can count on for consistent and timely launches,” said Rakesh S, Chairman and Managing Director, Antrix Corporation Limited.
Govindhasamy will be on the panel for one of the sessions at the GES on Thursday, along with TS Shobha, Executive Director, Antrix, and Anousheh Ansari, CEO, Prodea Systems. The session, titled ‘The Enterprise of Space: Advances In and Applications of Space Technology Are Driving Economic Growth Around the World’, will be moderated by Danielle Wood, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and Director of Space Enabled, MIT.