Dozens of satellites due for January liftoff in India

PSLV launch
India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off on a February space mission. (ISRO Photo)

Redmond, Wash.-based Planetary Resources’ technology demonstrator satellite for asteroid prospecting is due for launch in early January, along with more than two dozen other satellites, aboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

The latest word on the schedule for the PSLV-C40 mission came today from Seattle-based Spaceflight, which is providing launch and mission services for Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-6 and 10 other satellites.

Arkyd-6 is only about the size of an inkjet printer, but it’s designed to capture images in midwave infrared wavelengths and send them back to Earth. The imaging technology is destined to be used in future generations of Planetary Resources’ asteroid-surveying spacecraft.

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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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