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Planet Labs launched into space hundreds of tiny satellites around the clock to remove the entire surface of the Earth. Why is it important?
Material posted : Administrator Publication date: 17-02-2017

February 14, the Indian rocket PSLV put into orbit the Earth at a record 104 of the satellite (the previous record of 37 for times). 88 of them are very small satellites Dove company Planet Labs, which is trying to provide daily supervision over the entire surface of the Earth. "Medusa" tells what Planet Labs — and why it matters.

Planet Labs was founded by former NASA scientists

The company was founded in 2010 by Chris Basusta, will Marshall and Robbie Singleroom, former NASA employees. They met in the early noughties at a conference for young scientists interested in space, and subsequently worked together on various scientific projects (as well as on its own initiative prepared a submission to the EU on the rules of space exploration).

"We engineers and physicists who have survived a ten year journey into the world of rules, Economics, laws, politics and bureaucracy — and to some extent understand why space exploration is so slow," says Bossen. NASA Boshuizen and Marshall worked on the PhoneSat project is a small satellite that can be controlled from a mobile phone. It was then that they realized that compact satellites is a promising direction.

This is what it looks like when 88 cubesats deploy from the side of a rocket. Fly free, little Doves! Thanks to ISRO - Indian Space Research Organisation for capturing this incredible footage!

Planet published February 15, 2017
88 Doves satellites separated from the booster

The Planet Labs satellites take pictures of Earth

Every day. The basic idea of the company is to develop a service for the monthly fee allows you to see what it looks like right now any piece of Land. Unlike Google maps, the data will be updated daily, and you will almost live to watch how and what is changing on the area of the planet.

Pictures detailed enough: they allow you to even see trees — but the people on them to make out; thus, scientists believe, privacy will not be violated, and to use the service for surveillance will not work.

Among the clients of Planet Labs — Google, which decided to abandon their own business for photography of the Earth. Google has sold its subsidiary company, Terra Bella (practiced shooting from orbit and analysis of photos) scientists from Planet Labs.

Photo: Planet Labs Inc.

Doves satellites can monitor all the continents. Doves are small cylindrical devices with a camera and solar panels that can orbit from tens. Planet Labs, unlike other companies in the market of satellite images, build all their spacecraft independently. After the current record of launching 88 satellites is in orbit, they have about a hundred satellites. Planet Labs, according to a company blog, will now be able to take pictures of the entire surface of the planet.

Along with Doves will work seven purchased from Google satellites, capable of more detailed imaging; mini-satellites Planet Labs will perform for them a gunner. In addition, the company bought a significant number of old images of the Earth to provide access to your customers — so you can check how changing this or that area of the planet.

San Francisco, February 11, 2017. Photo: Planet Labs Inc.

Planet Labs is committed to see the Earth otherwise. There are several projects that allow for not a very large monthly fee to follow those or other parts of the world, but they all work on request, it does not monitor the entire planet at once. Planet Labs will provide access to the entire planet and see what happens to her every day. These technologies will primarily help to agriculture: you can track the status of the field, to monitor deforestation, the level of water in reservoirs, and to do it manually and not with automatic data analysis.

Other applications include: the elimination of consequences of natural disasters (they are visible on a daily images of the planet), journalism (Planet Labs filmed from space the process of liquidating the refugee camps in Calais and the situation on the Turkish-Syrian border); the company's customers, of course, will be the defense departments of many countries.

Pavel Borisov


Tags: science , space

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