History has been made as Planet, a leading provider of high-resolution earth-imagery products and solutions, has launched a record 104 satellites into orbit, making it the largest fleet of satellites ever launch in a single mission in history.
According to a report, the launch date was scheduled for 14th February, 2017, that is, Valentine’s Day at 7.58pm PST. The launch took place as scheduled from the Sriharikota Space Centre in East India. Observers say it is a sign that India is emerging as a major player in the multi-billion dollar space market.
This isn’t the first time Planet is launching satellites, but this is certainly the biggest launch ever. From reports, this record breaking launch is the fifteenth time Planet is launching Dove satellites (Planet’s built satellites). The Dove satellites, which is known as “Flock 3p” rode aboard a PSLV rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.
With these satellites in orbit, Planet will be imaging the entire Earth daily.
A satellite is a moon, planet or machine that orbits a planet or star, but literally, the word “satellite” often refer to a machine that is launched into space and moves around Earth or another body in space. Satellites are therefore artificial objects which has been intentionally placed into orbit.
The first satellite in space was the Sputnik 1, launch in 1957 by the Soviet Union. Most satellites are launched into space on rockets called launch vehicles, which helps to lifts if off from land. A satellite orbits Earth when its speed is balanced by the pull of Earth’s gravity. Without this balance, the satellite would fly in a straight line off into space or fall back to Earth.
There are different types of satellites. Common types include military and civilian earth observation satellites, communications satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, space telescopes etc. Its importance is synonymous with the particular type. Satellites’ bird eye view allows them to see large areas of earth at one time, thereby allow data collection to be quick and easy than instruments on the ground. TV and telephone signals are sent upward to a communication satellite. Then, almost instantly, the satellite can send them back down to different locations on Earth.