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  • Satellite Evolution

36 Planet SuperDoves successfully launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket

Planet Labs PBC, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today successfully launched 36 SuperDove satellites, its Flock 4y, to space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The Planet team has established contact with all 36 SuperDoves and has kicked off their automated commissioning process. This marks the company’s 32nd successful launch, totaling over 500 satellites launched since its founding.

These satellites were lofted into orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida on SpaceX’s Transporter-6 mission, marking Planet’s eighth flight with the launch provider. Once in orbit, contact with the 36 SuperDoves was established, holding the company’s 100% successful contact rate with its satellites.

These 36 SuperDoves will replenish Planet’s current fleet of approximately 200 satellites in orbit, working to scan the Earth every day to make change visible, accessible, and actionable. This data is incorporated into the workflows of over 800 customers globally and thousands of users in agriculture, sustainability, government, and more, to help power better decision making. From measuring crop yields to fighting illegal deforestation to supporting land restoration efforts, global users are finding great value in Planet’s monitoring capabilities. The company is excited to bring even more SuperDove satellites to orbit to further its mission of making daily change visible, accessible, and actionable.

“It’s in Planet’s DNA to continually innovate in space to ensure our users are equipped with the best data. We do this by deploying the latest technology and sensors on each satellite we launch to increase the frequency, resolution, and quality of the data that powers our software and tools,” said Planet CEO, Will Marshall. “I’m incredibly proud of our team for delivering 36 more SuperDoves to orbit that will contribute to our unprecedented global monitoring mission. Thanks for the ride, SpaceX!”

Each Planet SuperDove is equipped with eight spectral bands that provide users with accurate, consistent and analysis-ready data. But that’s not all - a select number from this flock are adorned with artwork that’s been laser-etched onto each side panel. A portion of the art on Flock 4y pays tribute to the legacy of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, as part of Planet’s collaboration with The Roddenberry Foundation’s Boldly Go Campaign. The Roddenberry Foundation and Planet share a similar mission of using space to inspire and help life on Earth and are thrilled to see the culmination of this work launched to space today.

To bring this to life, Rod Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment and Gene’s son joined Planet’s Vice President of Launch, Mike Safyan, to lightheartedly chat about how Star Trek and Planet’s missions align – and answer the internet’s burning questions about how satellites get into space. Snippets from their virtual conversation can be found here.

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