India launches BlackSky satellite (and 30 others)

PSLV launch
India’s PSLV rocket lifts off to send 31 satellites into orbit. (ISRO Video)

The first Earth observation satellite for Seattle-based BlackSky’s Global constellation has been sent into orbit aboard an Indian rocket.

Global-1 was just one of 30 secondary payloads for the PSLV-C43 mission, launched at 9:57 a.m. local time Nov. 29 (8:27 p.m. PT Nov. 28) from the Indian Space Research Organization’s Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota. All those satellites went into a sun-synchronous, nearly pole-to-pole orbit at an altitude of 504 kilometers (313 miles).

The primary payload aboard the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was India’s Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite, or HySIS, which is designed to capture Earth imagery in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared wavelengths from a height of 636 kilometers (395 miles). Potential applications range from weather and climate research to agriculture monitoring and water management.

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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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