BlackSky shows off its next-generation satellite

Global satellites
An artist’s conception shows BlackSky’s Global satellites in orbit. (BlackSky Illustration)

Spaceflight Industries’ BlackSky geospatial intelligence service is taking the wraps off its first operational satellite, Global-1, which will blaze the trail for what’s expected to be a 60-satellite Earth observation constellation.

The Seattle-based venture plans to have four of the Global satellites launched within the next year, as rideshare payloads on rockets that could include SpaceX’s Falcon 9, Rocket Lab’s Electron or India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV.

BlackSky has said it aims to offer a service capable of providing on-demand satellite imagery in about 90 minutes for about $90 a picture.

“The Global satellites are an important step forward for the satellite industry,” Nick Merski, vice president of space operations at Spaceflight Industries, said today in a news release. “We are continuing to advance the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of price point, capability and form factor, and these improvements ultimately help to make space more accessible for a broader set of business applications.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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