Planet Labs teams up with SpaceX to expand its Earth-imaging constellation and improve resolution

June 16, 2020
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In addition to launching more than 150 CubeSats, Planet purchased a constellation of 15 larger (110 kg in mass) satellites called SkySats from Google in 2017. For achieving higher resolution, Planet recently lowered the altitude from 500 km to 450 km, which has improved the spatial resolution from 80 cm to 50 cm. Furthermore, the company signed a deal to hitch six additional SkySats on SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rocket, which will improve the temporal resolution, enabling satellites to visit one location more frequently. This deal is inspired by the low cost ($500 per kg) offered by SpaceX's ride-share program. As the launch cost is expected to reach as low as $10/kg in the coming years, the satellite imaging space will get more crowded.

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