Planet Labs PBC has announced the successful launch of its 4x Flock, consisting of 44 SuperDove satellites, into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. These 44 satellites will join Planet’s existing fleet of roughly 200 satellites in orbit. It has now launched 127 satellites across eight launches with SpaceX, and over 500 satellites total since the company’s founding 10 years ago. With the latest addition of 44 SuperDove satellites, the company’s PlanetScope product will continue to offer customers satellite data captured from the latest and strongest technology. www.planet.com
Data from newly-launched Chinese RS satellite
China’s remote-sensing ground stations received the first 159 gigabytes of data from the newly-launched remote-sensing satellite Ziyuan I-06. The satellite was launched recently from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province, which is part of the country’s plan to develop its national civil space infrastructure. www.ecns.cn
OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, and Hughes Network Systems LLC (“Hughes”), have announced a strategic six-year Distribution Partner agreement to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity services across India. The arrangement between OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL), a joint venture between Hughes and Bharti Airtel Limited (“Airtel”), follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the companies in September 2021.
HCIPL will deliver services to enterprise and government with OneWeb capacity, especially in areas outside the reach of fiber connectivity. OneWeb will connect towns, villages, and local and regional municipalities in those hardest-to-reach areas, playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide. https://oneweb.net
Mr. S. Somanath assumed the charge of Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission on 14 January 2022. In his previous assignment he was Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the lead Centre responsible for Launch vehicle technology development. Prior to that he has been the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala, Thiruvananathapuram till December 2017. He was the Associate Director (Projects) of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and also the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III Launch vehicle. Under his leadership as the Project Director, the first Experimental flight of LVM3-X/ CARE mission was successfully accomplished on 18th December 2014.
Mr. Somanath is an expert in the area of system engineering of launch vehicles. His contributions in PSLV and GSLV Mk-III were in their overall architecture, propulsion stages design, structural and structural dynamics designs, separation systems, vehicle integration and integration procedures development. He has been the Deputy Director of the ‘Structural Engineering’ Entity in VSSC and also the Deputy Director of ‘Propulsion and Space Ordnance Entity’ in VSSC till November, 2014.