SEATTLE – Spaceflight Industries, a next-generation space company enabling access to space and redefining global intelligence, announced the successful launch of its BlackSky Pathfinder-1 satellite into a sun synchronous orbit from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). From Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, liftoff occurred on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 11:42 p.m. EDT, with the satellite separating from the rocket’s upper stage at 1:57 a.m. EDT Monday.
The Spaceflight Industries launch team confirmed reliable, successful signal acquisition and is continuing to monitor communications from its operations center in Seattle.
“This is a major accomplishment for our company – one that we’ve been steadily working towards since we conceived of the BlackSky business in 2013,” said Jason Andrews, chief executive officer of Spaceflight Industries. “The Pathfinders will provide us critical insight into how our early architecture performs from space so we can continue to improve and expand upon our technology. Meanwhile, the satellites are a testament to the future capabilities of the BlackSky constellation to support the activities essential to satellite imaging, such as tasking, collecting, processing and distributing images.”
Built by Spaceflight Industries, Pathfinder-1 and 2 are key demonstration satellites for BlackSky’s planned 60-satellite constellation. (Pathfinder-2 is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9.) The first three commercially operational satellites are scheduled for launch in 2017, with the complete constellation on orbit by 2020.
The Pathfinder earth imaging satellites are approximately the size of a mini refrigerator and weigh 50 kg. Equipped with payloads from Harris Corporation, they are designed to image an area approximately 4.4km x 6.6km at 1-meter resolution. By using the BlackSky global intelligence platform, customers can access a wide range of satellite data and geospatial imagery. Once deployed, the BlackSky constellation will provide near real-time images in about 90 minutes for approximately $90, a price that is currently unmatched in the market. The ability to pass over areas of interest at an hourly revisit rate will produce images that are more current and wide-ranging to increase global transparency.
About Spaceflight Industries
Spaceflight Industries is enabling timely and affordable access to space while redefining how we observe our planet in real time. Through its services Spaceflight and BlackSky, the company offers innovative satellite design, rideshare launch management, global communications networking, and a geospatial intelligence platform to support a new era of global awareness. Founded in 1999, the Seattle-based company has a well-earned track record of success on a global scale. Visit www.spaceflight.com or www.blacksky.com for more information.