Planet Labs has announced that it has confirmed launches for more than 100 CubeSats over the next 12 months. The satellites are 3U (30x10x10 cm) in size and will launch on rockets from the USA and Russia. This constitutes the largest constellation of satellites manifested in history. These new launches will build on Planet Labs first 28 satellites, Flock 1, which were launched in January.
This constellation will allow Planet Labs to image the whole earth every 24 hours. “We are imaging the planet to save the planet,” said Will Marshall, cofounder of Planet Labs. “Imaging the Earth at this frequency will help us to measure things from deforestation, to improving agricultural yield, to detecting overfishing. Our mission is to create information people need to help life on the planet.”
“Getting 100 satellites on the launch manifest is a major milestone in the new space industry,” said Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and board member of Planet Labs and SpaceX. “The small form factor requires less space on the rocket, allowing for more flexibility for launch configurations. And a constellation of 100 satellites is unprecedented.”
This announcement comes on the heels of a $52 million Series B round of financing for Planet Labs in December led by Yuri Milner. Previous investors in the company include Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV), Capricorn Investment Group, Founders Fund Angel, Data Collective, First Round Capital, and Innovation Endeavors.
NASA has shared the following images of Planet Labs’ record-setting 28 satellites being deployed from the International Space station:
Planet Labs http://www.planet.com/