Indian Space Startup Launches Commercial Satellite With Elon Musk’s SpaceX: What Next?
Pixxel TD-2, which is first fully-fledged satellite hosting one of the highest resolution hyperspectral commercial cameras ever flown, was launched today. It also brings us one step closer to building a 24×7 health monitor for the planet.
Once A Distant Reality, Now At Touching Distance
The launch of SpaceX’s Transporter-4 mission from Cape Canaveral has made the ambitious mission to assemble one of the world’s most advanced constellations of low-earth-orbit imaging satellites look conceivable and has brought the company within touching distance of the ambition. It will also enable to bring the benefits of space down to earth.
Pixxel came a long way, from being one of the finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2017 to now being able to launch their own satellites as part of SpaceX’s fourth dedicated rideshare mission. The vision that they once had, which was to accelerate humanity’s expansion into space by making in-space resources available on-demand and turning the earth into a more vibrant and sustainable place in the process, remains steadfast even today.
TD-2, which weighs less than 15 kgs, is capable of capturing orbital images in more than 150 bands of color from the visible and infrared spectrum with a resolution of 10-meters per pixel. This not just trumps but also exceeds the specificity of 30-meter per pixel hyperspectral satellites launched by a few select organizations such NASA, ESA, and ISRO.
Within few weeks information about the events like natural gas leakages, deforestation, melting ice caps, pollution, and declining crop health will be amassed and uncovered.
If in case we are able to predict the famine before a crop infestation starts or for that matter stop an oil spill before it endangers the delicate oceanic biospheres, it will be a leap ahead.
About $25M were raised from the series A funding from Radical Ventures, Seraphim Space Capital, Relativity Space co-founder Jordan Noone, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, and Sparta LLC among others and all ambitions could come to fruition because of them.
The strategic backing joins the over 50 customers who have signed pre-launch agreements with them from industries spanning agriculture, oil and gas, mining, and climate sectors.
Pixxel is galvanized by the promise of our technology to make the invisible visible as our species faces the ramifications for decades of environmental neglect.
This launch sets the stage for Pixxel’s first commercial phase satellites to be launched in early 2023 and the commercial sale of their data.
With 6 satellites flown in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) around a 550 km altitude, Pixxel’s hyperspectral constellation will be able to cover any point on the globe every 48 hours.
Pixxel will achieve daily global coverage by early 2024 as it plans to launch even more satellites by late 2023.
Actionable Insights From Data
The learnings from the data beamed down by our constellation will provide us with a global scale perspective of planetary-scale ecosystems and biospheres that will be used to create an AI-informed analysis platform, helping us create a digital twin of the earth.
This will be a critical tool in providing invaluable policy recommendations and actionable insights for climate-conscious governments and organizations. By detecting these unseen global phenomena and monitoring them through regular revisit, Pixxel is building a health monitor for Earth to help everyone make decisions that can make our world a better and more sustainable place.