Nano satellites: Democratizing access to Earth observation information

Cubesat Deployment

In January 2014, Planet Labs, a small San Francisco based Startup Company, delivered a payload of 28 Earth Imaging Satellites or to the International Space Station (ISS) and in February the fleet of shoebox-sized satellites was deployed by ejecting them from an airlock, this fleet of miniature satellites or cubsats measuring 10 cm x 10cm x 30cm aims to revolutionize the space industry by providing cheap miniature satellites with the goal of gaining unparallel insight into real time activity on the Earth’s Surface. 

Planet Labs is on track to construct the world’s largest satellite constellation with 131 cubesats planed for launch within the next 12 months.  This constellation of satellites will be capable of providing updated comprehensive pictures of the Earth almost daily.

The company says its mission is ultimately to democratize access to information about our planet. "Instead of seeing a hole in the Amazon a few months after trees have been taken down there, we can see it as it's happening", the Planet Labs co-founder Will Marshall told the BBC.

These miniature satellites dubbed “doves” are now relaying their first images from low-Earth polar orbit.

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