Space data company Pixxel launched its first full-fledged TD-2 satellite on Friday aboard billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX Transporter-4 mission.
TD-2 is Pixxel’s first full-fledged satellite hosting one of the highest resolution commercial hyperspectral cameras ever, bringing it even closer to building a 24/7 health monitor for the planet. The launch, the company said, puts it within touching distance of its mission to assemble one of the world’s most advanced constellations of low Earth orbit imaging satellites and help it bring the benefits of space on earth.
“From being one of the few finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition in 2017, to launching our own satellites as part of SpaceX’s fourth dedicated rideshare mission, life has really come full circle for us here at Pixxel,” said Pixxel.
About the TD-2
Weighing less than 15 kg, the TD-2 is capable of capturing orbital images in more than 150 color bands from the visible and infrared spectrum with a resolution of 10 meters per pixel, far exceeding the specificity of hyperspectral satellites of 30 meters per pixel. launched by a few select organizations such as NASA, ESA and ISRO, the company said.
“In just a few weeks after launch, TD-2 will begin collecting information and uncovering the unseen changes wreaking havoc on our planet, such as natural gas leaks, deforestation, melting ice caps, pollution and deteriorating crop health,” he added.
The launch also paves the way for the launch of Pixxel’s first commercial-stage satellites in early 2023 and the commercial sale of its data. With six satellites in sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) around an altitude of 550 km, Pixxel’s hyperspectral constellation will be able to cover any point on the globe every 48 hours.
“With even more satellites slated for launch in late 2023, Pixxel will achieve daily global coverage by early 2024. Insights from the data transmitted by our constellation will provide us with a global-scale perspective of ecosystems and biospheres at planetary scale that will be used to create an AI-based analytics platform, helping us create a digital twin of Earth,” he said.
Pixxel had recently raised $25 million in Series A funding from Radical Ventures, Seraphim Space Capital, Relativity Space co-founder Jordan Noone, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, Sparta LLC, among others.
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