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With its First EO Satellite Completed, BlackSky Now Waits for Launch

By | March 7, 2018
BlackSky's Global 1 spacecraft. Photo: BlackSky Global.

BlackSky’s Global 1 spacecraft. Photo: BlackSky Global.

BlackSky, the geospatial intelligence service of Spaceflight Industries, announced the first of its next generation of small Earth Observation (EO) satellites is complete, qualified, and awaiting launch. This spacecraft, called Global 1, is the first of four smallsats that are scheduled to launch in the next year on both U.S. and foreign launch vehicles.

The Global series of spacecraft builds on BlackSky’s initial technology demonstration spacecraft, called Pathfinder, which was launched in September 2016. The Global spacecraft provides 1-meter resolution and features improved image quality, geolocation accuracy, and on-orbit lifetime. An enhanced ground system complements the spacecraft to minimize the latency between image tasking and receipt.

BlackSky’s Global smallsats will join the virtual constellation of commercial imaging satellites accessible through the BlackSky geospatial platform. Within the platform, users can access BlackSky Spectra’s on-demand imagery service to search, purchase, task, and download visual imagery and multi-spectral data from a global collection network. They can also subscribe to BlackSky Events, the platform’s global event monitoring service that fuses news, social media, industry data services, and physical sensor networks to provide early warning and insights on risks, threats, and opportunities that can impact their business. The platform is currently in use by several large government and commercial organizations to actively monitor global assets, BlackSky stated.

“Qualifying the Global generation of spacecraft paves the way for mass production and launch of our full constellation, as well as achieving our vision of deploying a high revisit rate constellation in the near future,” said Jason Andrews, Spaceflight Industries’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

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