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SatVu Reports Anomaly on Pathfinder Mission

By Rachel Jewett | December 15, 2023
      Thermal image of Rome captured by SatVu's pathfinder satellite. Photo: SatVu

      Thermal image of Rome captured by SatVu’s pathfinder satellite. Photo: SatVu

      Thermal imaging startup SatVu reported an anomaly that is expected to impact further operations on its pathfinder satellite, HOTSAT-1. The satellite launched on a SpaceX rideshare mission in June and has been operational for six months, securing initial thermal images for SatVu. 

      The company did not share specifics about the anomaly, but said it is working closely with manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) on an assessment and will release updates. The satellite is insured. 

      SatVu, formerly known as Satellite Vu, said the satellite exceeded expectations and completed thousands of orbits, capturing thermal images and video from every continent and over the poles and oceans. The company has also shared the images to collaborate with public, private, academic, and non-profit organizations. 

      CEO and co-founder Anthony Baker said the satellite completed “everything it needed to do and more.” 

      “Our learnings from this mission are unparalleled. We are armed with enough data to develop incredible products that will be integral to shaping our future commercial offering. Our primary mission remains unchanged – we will persist and move ahead. We have ample financial runway to propel us to the next satellite and beyond,” Baker said. “We understand that in the realm of pioneering space exploration, things can go wrong.”

      SatVu is in discussions around the launch of its second satellite – HOTSAT-2, ordered from SSTL, with a launch booked with SpaceX