Indian startup Shakuntala satellite launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9

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Indian startup Shakuntala satellite launched at SpaceX Falcon 9

Indian aerospace startup Pixxel has launched the first full-scale satellite with one of the highest resolution hyperspectral commercial cameras. Under the name Shakuntala or Pixxel TD-2, The satellite was launched onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission. From Cape Canaveral.

Pixxel TD-2 Shakuntala satellite launched at SpaceX Falcon 9

Pixxel’s Shakuntala / TD-2 satellite weighs less than 15 kg. According to Pixxel The TD-2 can capture orbital images in more than 150 color bands from the visible and infrared spectra. With a resolution of 10 meters per pixel. In particular, it exceeds the resolution of 30 meters per pixel for hyperspectral satellites launched by NASA, ESA, and ISRO.

Over the next few weeks, TD-2 will focus on natural gas leaks, deforestation, ice cap melting, pollution, and poor crop health on the green planet. “Imagine being able to predict famine before the crop epidemic takes over, or stop oil spills before endangering the delicate marine biosphere.” The company states in a blog post.

Pixxel recently raised $ 25 million in Series A funding from Radical Ventures, Seraphim Space Capital, Relativity Space co-founders Jordan Noone, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, Spartan LLC and others. It will be added to over 50 customers who have signed pre-launch agreements from industries in the agricultural, oil and gas, mining and climate sectors.

In an interview with mintAwais Ahmed, CEO of Pixxel, said the aerospace company is currently working on a second launch of a technology demonstrator satellite. The satellite, called Anand, will be onboard the next mission of ISRO’s Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-6) as part of India’s Oceansat program.

Going forward, Pixxel plans to launch its first commercial phase satellite in early 2023 and begin commercial sales of data. Thanks to six satellites flying in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) at an altitude of 550 km, Pixxel’s hyperspectral constellation covers every point on Earth every 48 hours.