Planet to launch 44 SuperDove satellites on SpaceX's Falcon 9

Thu, 13 Jan 2022 02:22:12 GMT
Space Daily

San Francisco CA (SPX) Jan 13, 2022 Planet Labs PBC reports announced that the launch of their...

Planet Labs PBC reports announced that the launch of their Flock 4x, consisting of 44 SuperDove satellites, will take place on Thursday, January 13th on SpaceX's Falcon 9 Transporter-3 SSO. This marks the first satellite launch under Planet's new multi-year, multi-launch rideshare agreement with SpaceX. Planet operates the world's largest constellation of Earth observation satellites; and with this launch, the company will have more than 240 satellites in orbit.

This unprecedented capability provides Planet customers with daily data about Earth resources and global events.

"We are thrilled to be launching our latest flock with SpaceX. Their reliability and leadership in the launch market makes them a natural choice for this mission. Flock 4x will provide the PlanetScope constellation with the latest and strongest capabilities to help meet customer needs," said Planet CEO Will Marshall.

To date, Planet has launched 83 satellites with SpaceX through seven launches.

In August 2021, Planet announced a multi-year, multi-launch agreement with SpaceX through 2025.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket offers frequent rideshare services, allowing Planet to meet ambitious launch targets.

This first launch under the latest rideshare agreement marks an important moment in the current space renaissance.

Over the last 10 years, rocket launches have dropped in price and increased in frequency while satellites have dramatically decreased in size, allowing for greater numbers of satellites to be launched on each rocket.

Loft Orbital Solutions, Inc., a leading space infrastructure-as-a-service provider, and LeoStella, Inc., a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturing company, have extended their production agreement to secure multiple additional LEO-100 buses from LeoStella.

The satellites are based on LeoStella's existing product line of ESPA-class buses.