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BlackSky Pathfinder 1, 2

BlackSky Pathfinder 1 [Spaceflight Services]

The BlackSky constellation of 1 m resolution earth observation microsatellites will be deployed by BlackSky Global.

The satellites feature the SpaceView-24 imaging system built by Harris Corp.'s Exelis with an aperture of 24 cm It has a ground resolution of 0.9 - 1.1 m from an orbital height of 500 km. They have a onboard propulsion for a 3 year orbital life. The satellites are built by Spaceflight Services based on their SCOUT bus.

The Block 1 Pathfinder satellites are capable to take up to 20 images per day in stills mode in four bands.

Two pasphinder satellites, BlackSky Pathfinder 1 and 2 were built to evaluate the systems. BlackSky Pathfinder 1 was launched into a synchroneous orbits on multi satellite launches on a PSLV-G (3) in September 2016. The second satellite, BlackSky Pathfinder 2 was built and was planned for a launch on a Falcon-9 v1.2 later in 2017. As the first satellite reached all goals, it was deceided not to launch the second satellite and contionue with the operational satellites.

Four more improved satellites named BlackSky 1 to 4 followed in 2018 and 2019.

A initial constellation of 60 satellites is planned for 2021 that will be replaced every three years. The first six satellites have been funded by September 2015.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Earth Observation
Operator: BlackSky Global
Contractors: Spaceflight Services (prime); Exelis (Imager)
Equipment: SpaceView-24 imager
Configuration: SCOUT bus
Propulsion: ?
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 3 years
Mass: 44 kg
Orbit: 661 km × 703 km, 98.20 (#P1)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
BlackSky Pathfinder 1 2016-059E 26.09.2016 Sr FLP PSLV-G (3) with SCATSAT 1, AlSat 1B, AlSat 2B, Pratham, PISat, AlSat-Nano, CanX 7
BlackSky Pathfinder 2 - not launched with ?


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