US: SSL, a Maxar Technologies company and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, has delivered two Earth observation satellites to Vandenberg Air Force Base where they will be launched on Spaceflight’s first Sun Synchronous dedicated rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. SSL manufactured SkySat 14 and 15 for commercial Earth observation company Planet, advancing SSL’s leadership in the manufacture of innovative, small form-factor satellites.
The imaging satellites feature 72 cm resolution and will be added to Planet’s SkySat constellation, which currently includes 11 SSL-built small satellites. The SkySat constellation complements Planet’s Dove constellation, with the most satellites on orbit from a commercial imagery provider.
“SSL continues to embrace innovation and elevate our partnerships to meet the rising demand for small form-factor satellites,” said Dario Zamarian, Group President, SSL. “It has been rewarding to apply our extensive expertise in the manufacturing of high-quality small satellites, solidifying our leadership position and supporting the Planet team in achieving its objectives.”
Six of Planet’s SSL-built satellites were launched in 2017 and five were launched in 2016. SSL continues to manufacture additional SkySats for Planet in its state-of-the-art SmallSat manufacturing facility, integrating improvements and increasing the cadence of delivery.
“Working alongside SSL on our Earth imaging fleet has been very successful,” said Chester Gillmore, Vice President of Manufacturing at Planet. “Adding two more SkySats to our fleet will enhance our daily monitoring to help our customers gain valuable insights, understand what’s happening on the ground and take needed and timely action.”
SSL combines a commercial mindset with a track record of reliability in building smaller form-factor satellites for both Earth Observation and communications. Blending speed and agility with space-proven qualification and production processes provides satellite operators with high performance and best value solutions.