BlackSky’s Newest Satellite Delivers First Insights Within 24 Hours

BlackSky’s Spectra AI combines the power of high-resolution satellite imagery with AI/ML techniques to automatically create detailed maps indicating activity along roads, buildings, waterways, construction sites, and more. (Photo: BlackSky)

Successful Launch of BlackSky’s Newest Satellite Advances the Company’s Dawn-to-Dusk Global Monitoring and High-Revisit Capabilities

HERNDON, Va. (BlackSky PR) — BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services, today announced that its latest Gen-2 satellite, BlackSky 7, delivered first insights within 24 hours of launch. Within that time frame, the BlackSky operations team conducted satellite checkout and the satellite collected its first images. At the same time, those images were downlinked, processed and analyzed using BlackSky’s Spectra AI suite of AI/ML algorithms to detect objects of interest and establish the first insight milestone. This latest satellite was launched at 22:30 UTC, March 22, 2021 on the Rocket Lab “They Go Up So Fast” mission.

(more…)

BlackSky Accelerates Constellation Deployment with Five Rocket Lab Launches

Using high-revisit satellite imagery, BlackSky’s Spectra AI has detected the utilization of major facilities at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Parking spaces shown in green are rarely used, while red indicates frequent occupancy. BlackSky customers can also understand inflow/outflow of cargo and monitor airline maintenance activity. (Photo: BlackSky)

Company’s real-time geospatial solutions to average one-hour dawn-to-dusk imaging revisit rates and 90-minute delivery times

HERNDON, Va.–(BlackSky PR)–BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services that recently announced a planned business combination with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: SFTW), today reported it has secured five Rocket Lab missions to deploy nine satellites between March and the end of 2021. The first of these launches took place on March 22, 2021. The company is accelerating the deployment of its constellation of Gen-2, high-revisit, high-resolution imaging satellites and expects to deliver capabilities in 2021 that were originally planned for delivery in 2022.

(more…)

Rocket Lab Set for 19th Electron Launch

Electron launches with OHB satellite. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

Rocket Lab Launch Update

Mission Name: They Go Up So Fast
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Window: No Earlier than 23 March NZT/22 March UTC
Launch Time: No earlier than 11:20 am NZT/22:20 UTC/6:20 p.m. EDT
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Rocket Lab’s 19th Electron mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government satellite operators, as well as place a next-generation Rocket Lab Photon spacecraft in orbit to build spacecraft heritage ahead of Rocket Lab’s mission to the Moon for NASA later this year. 

(more…)

SPACovirus Sweeps Space Sector

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)
Wall Street’s latest easy money craze has attracted a growing number of space companies. But, just because they can go public, should they?

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Seven space companies have gotten caught up in the SPACovirus sweeping through Wall Street. The impact on the space industry is going to be interesting to watch.

A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company. It’s a publicly traded investment firm that, with outside investors, acquires or merges with another company, and then takes the acquisition public under its own name.

(more…)

Wall Street Thinks Most SPACs are a Joke

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). (Credit Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Over at Fast Company, William D. Cohan says professional investors and financial analysts have a low opinion of the special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which are being used by Virgin Galactic and six other space companies to go public. (SPACs are an inside joke on Wall Street, and the joke is on you)

SPACs are investment vehicles that are already publicly traded on the stock exchange. Their goal is to acquire or merge with other companies, which then go public under their own names.

(more…)

Spaceflight Inc. Signs Multiple Launch Agreements to Start 2021, Leveraging Its Success Managing Both “Bus and Taxi” Smallsat Launches

SHERPA (Spaceflight Inc.)

Company reveals more dedicated launches, propulsive OTVs, and GTO/lunar missions to satisfy growing demand for flexible and comprehensive launch services

SEATTLE, March 3, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc.) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced it has started the year by signing several significant launch agreements with a wide range of organizations, including growing constellations needing routine and reliable launch schedules, smaller payloads requiring affordable bus-like options to popular orbits, firms needing regulatory and logistical guidance, as well as those seeking a personalized taxi service from loading dock to final orbital destination.

Organizations that recently signed launch deals with Spaceflight include Lynk, Astro Digital, Kleos, BlackSky, Umbra, Orbit Fab and several undisclosed U.S. government payloads.

(more…)

ST Engineering Geo-Insights Partners with BlackSky to Offer Expanded Satellite Imaging and Analytics Insights Portfolio for Customers in SE Asia

SINGAPORE & HERNDON, Va. (ST Engineering/BlackSky PR) — ST Engineering’s earth observation and geospatial analysis business, ST Engineering Geo-Insights (“Geo-Insights”), today announced that it has partnered with BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services, to provide its customers in Southeast Asia an expanded satellite imaging and insights portfolio that now includes BlackSky products and services.

In addition to the appointment of ST Engineering Geo-Insights as an authorized reseller of BlackSky’s suite of satellite imaging and data analytics services in Southeast Asia, the partnership also allows Geo-Insights and its customers to leverage BlackSky’s imagery data to develop value-added products, which will be included in Geo-Insights’ offerings.

(more…)

BlackSky Goes SPAC: to List on New York Stock Exchange After Merger with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp.

  • BlackSky Holdings, Inc., a leading real-time geospatial intelligence, imagery, and data analytics company has entered into a business combination agreement with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:SFTW); the newly combined company is expected to be listed on the NYSE under the new ticker symbol “BKSY.”
  • The business combination agreement is expected to provide approximately $450 million of net proceeds to the combined company, assuming no redemptions, to fund expected future growth, including a fully committed $180 million common stock PIPE with participation from leading institutional investors including Tiger Global Management, Mithril Capital (co-founded by Ajay Royan and Peter Thiel), Hedosophia, and Senator Investment Group. Additionally, Osprey’s sponsor and its affiliates are investing over $20 million in the PIPE.
  • Pro forma equity value of the merger is expected to be nearly $1.5 billion at the $10.00 per share PIPE price.

HERNDON, Va. & NEW YORK (BlackSky/Osprey Technology PR) — BlackSky Holdings, Inc. (“BlackSky”), a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services, and Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. (“Osprey”) (NYSE:SFTW), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in BlackSky becoming a publicly listed company. It is anticipated that the post-closing company, BlackSky will be listed on the NYSE with the ticker symbol “BKSY”.

(more…)

Rocket Lab’s Next Mission to Launch 100th Satellite and Deploy Next-Generation Photon Spacecraft in Preparation for Moon Mission

Electron launches with 10 satellites on Oct. 29, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

The mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government customers, as well as place a next-generation Photon spacecraft in orbit to build heritage for Rocket Lab’s upcoming mission to the Moon for NASA

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab, a leading launch provider and space systems company, has today announced its next mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government satellite operators, and place a next-generation Photon spacecraft in orbit to build spacecraft heritage ahead of Rocket Lab’s mission to the Moon for NASA in Q3 this year.

(more…)

BlackSky Awarded IARPA Contract to Develop Platform for Global Construction Monitoring Using Next Generation Artificial Intelligence

Revolutionary AI Platform from BlackSky to Fuel Space-based Monitoring Program

HERNDON, Va., Jan. 6, 2021 (BlackSky PR) – BlackSky, a leading provider of global monitoring services and geospatial insights, today announced an award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) for a multi-phase, multi-year research contract. IARPA is responsible for leading research programs to overcome difficult challenges relevant to the U.S. intelligence community.

BlackSky has been selected to aid in the development of IARPA’s Space-based Machine Automated Recognition Technique (SMART) Program. The SMART program aims to automate the quantitative analysis of space-based imagery to perform broad-area searches for natural and man-made events using time-series imagery. BlackSky will expand upon its Spectra AI platform to develop a responsive system that can automatically monitor large-scale construction of critical infrastructure such as military bases, stadiums, campuses, dams, and airports.

(more…)

Production Begins on Skylark Constellation

Skylark satellites (Credit: NorthStar)

Thales Alenia Space, LeoStella and NorthStar Earth and Space launch the development and production of the early satellites for the first constellation dedicated to monitor and track space debris

CANNES, TUKWILA, October 27th, 2020 – Thales Alenia Space, the Joint Venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), signed the first phase of a contract with NorthStar Earth and Space Inc., the Canadian space-based information services company, to start the development and production of the first three smallsat satellites that are part of the world’s first and most advanced commercial space-based environmental and near-space monitoring system.

(more…)

BlackSky’s Newest Satellites Have Completed Commissioning and Entered Into Commercial Operations

HERNDON, Va., October 5, 2020 (BlackSky PR) – BlackSky, a leading provider of global monitoring services, geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery, announced its fifth and sixth global satellites have completed commissioning and are in commercial operations. The addition of these two satellites to the BlackSky constellation brings higher resolution and increased revisits for key customer markets around the world.

These latest two satellites launched in August 2020 and successfully achieved first images within 58 hours of operation. The satellites have been delivering customer collections since that time while concurrently completing the commissioning process.

(more…)

BlackSky Announces Next Generation Dual Payload Satellite Architecture to Deliver High Resolution and Nighttime Imaging Capabilities

HERNDON, Va. , September 24, 2020 (BlackSky PR) – BlackSky, a leading provider of global monitoring services, geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery, announced today the next phase of expansion of its high-revisit commercial satellite constellation with the unveiling of its next generation, Gen-3, satellite architecture.

In addition, the company also announced it has conducted the preliminary design review of its Gen-3 satellite design for the U.S. Army Tactical GEOINT (TACGEO) prototype program as part of a multi-year contract with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). 

(more…)

New BlackSky Satellites Deliver First Images Within 58 Hours of Launch

Images Immediately Provide Customers Actionable Insights

HERNDON, Va., August 17, 2020 (BlackSky PR) – BlackSky, a leading provider of global monitoring services, geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery, announced it has completed initial system checkouts and has begun delivering imagery from its fifth and sixth satellites 58 hours after launch.

Taking full advantage of the advanced analytics offered by its Spectra AI platform, BlackSky is now providing customers high velocity insights that were previously unattainable.

(more…)

SpaceX Launches 57 Starlink Satellites

Falcon 9 lifts off on the Starlink 10 mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Friday, August 7 at 1:12 a.m. EDT (0512 UTC), SpaceX launched its 10th Starlink mission, which included 57 Starlink satellites and 2 satellites from BlackSky, a Spaceflight customer.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, and the fourth and seventh Starlink missions.Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The BlackSky Global spacecraft deployed sequentially beginning 1 hour and 1 minute after liftoff, and the Starlink satellites deployed approximately 1 hour and 33 minutes after liftoff.

All Starlink satellites on this flight are equipped with a deployable visor to block sunlight from hitting the brightest spots of the spacecraft – a measure SpaceX has taken as part of our work with leading astronomical groups to mitigate satellite reflectivity.