Earth observation cubesats to be developed by Planet Labs

Dove cubesats of Planet Lab's "Flock 1" constellation.

The American private company Planet Labs announced that it will invest USD 95 million into the development of Earth-observation satellites of reduced dimensions and high-resolution imagery potential. The cubesats will be just 20 centimeters long, 10 centimeters wide and 10 centimeters tall.

The so-called "Doves" will be able to capture imagery with a resolution of 3 to 5 meters and will deliver cost- and time-effective pictures of the Earth for a wide variety of purposes, such as scientific research and disaster management.

Since April 2013, Planet Labs has already launched 73 Doves to space. The latest cubesats will enlarge the constellation of Doves orbiting around the International Space Station.

A board member of Planet Labs said in a statement: "Leveraging the lower cost of access to space, businesses like Planet Labs are redefining space as the new frontier of innovation."

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