Planet Labs is using its herd of orbiting cameras to take a new picture of the entire Earth each day.
Planet Labs now has 149 of these small satellites in space.
When 88 of its tiny satellites were launched into orbit by India’s space agency earlier this month, startup Planet Labs helped set a world record for the largest one-time satellite deployment ever.
This new flock of satellites also gives the Earth-imaging startup a record of its own. With a total of 149 satellites in orbit, it now commands the largest private fleet in history.
Mike Safyan, Planet Labs’s director of launch and regulatory affairs, predicts that within three months this increased capacity will enable it to achieve its core mission of taking pictures of the entire surface of the Earth every day—something no other company has done thus far. Already, Planet Labs is imaging approximately 50 million square kilometers of the planet every day, which is double the entire surface area of North America.
By decreasing the cost and size of their satellites—each one is roughly the size of a backpack and weighs around four kilograms—Planet Labs and a handful of competitors have helped change the economics of launching and maintaining large fleets of satellites.
Check out the rest of the story at MIT Technology Review