Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries is sharing some of the first pictures of Earth ever taken by its low-cost, high-resolution BlackSky Pathfinder-1 satellite – and they’re spectacular.
The roughly 100-pound (50-kilogram) Pathfinder-1 spacecraft was launched from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sept. 26 as a ride-share payload on a PSLV-C35 rocket. Spaceflight Industries says the satellite cost $10 million to build and launch, which is relatively cheap for orbital imaging capability.
The Pathfinder-1 images released today confirm that the BlackSky concept works. The pictures provide breathtaking views of farms and industrial sites near Beijing, the suburbs surrounding Tokyo, and mountain ranges in China and Afghanistan.