Planetary Resources’ next satellite is ready to fly

Arkyd-6 prepared
Workers prepare Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-6 technology demonstrator satellite for shipment at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. (Planetary Resources via YouTube)

Planetary Resources has been working on its Arkyd-6 imaging satellite for years, and today the company reported that the printer-sized spacecraft has finally begun its journey to an Indian launch pad.

Arkyd-6 is considered a technology trailblazer for the asteroid-observing probes that Planetary Resources plans to build at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

The company’s first demonstrator satellite, the Arkyd-3R, was deployed from the International Space Station’s Kibo airlock in 2015. The Arkyd-6 is twice as big, and is expected to provide Earth imagery in the midwave infrared slice of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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