PlanetLabs buys Blackbridge and its RapidEye fleet

by | Jul 23, 2015 | Satellites, Seradata News | 0 comments

The San Francsisco-based cubesat operating firm, PlanetLabs, has continued its expansion into the Earth observation market by announcing that it is to acquire Blackbridge and with it the five-satellite RapidEye medium resolution Earth observation fleet.  These 150kg-class RapidEye satellites, built by MDA (using an SSTL bus), are much larger than the cubesat spacecraft operated by PlanetLabs to date. The RapidEye constellation was originally launched in 2008 and has a resolution of 5m.  RapidEye’s satellites are the first commercial satellites to include the Red-Edge band for chlorophyll content analysis for crop health monitoring. The company fell into bankruptcy protection in 2011, and it and its five satellites were eventually bought by the Canadian firm Blackbridge.

Comment by David Todd:  This maybe PlanetLabs’ move towards larger satellites as they realise that for high resolution imagery, spacecraft larger than cubesat -satellites are needed.

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