Planetary Resources new satellite launch succeeds

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Via: India Space Research Organization

Water is critical to the future of spaceflight, and especially to human colonizing other planets. Beyond being necessary for life, water is one of the most efficient propellants. The results of the Arkyd-6 mission will teach Planetary Resources what it needs to know before launching exploratory crafts to asteroids near the Earth – which CEO Chris Lewicki has said the company plans to do by 2020.

“This is the first post-global enterprise,” Lewicki told CNBC last year.

The PSLV-C40 launch carried India’s 100th satellite, a surveillance craft named Cartosat 2, and was the longest flight duration for the rocket vehicle at over 2 hours. This was the first PSLV mission since a failure in August resulted in the payload falling short of orbit.

Other secondary payloads on board included 19 satellites contracted and managed by Spaceflight Industries — notably the ICEYE-X1 satellite and several cubesats for both Planet and Spire. ICEYE’s inaugural craft is the first commercial satellite for Finland, with next-generation technology known as synthetic aperture radar (or SAR) on board designed to provide almost real-time imagery regardless of atmospheric conditions.

“We use observation data to help our customers navigate through the world as it is, not as it was,” CEO Rafal Modrzewski told CNBC in December.

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