Pixxel, the Indian Spacetech startup has launched its first commercial satellite called `Shakuntala’. This is a full-fledged commercial satellite that has been launched with Elon Musk-run SpaceX`s Falcon-9 rocket. The satellite hosts one of the highest resolution hyperspectral commercial cameras that have ever been flown to space, which brings it a step closer to building a 24×7 health monitor for the planet.
The satellite was launched on Friday with SpaceX`s Transporter-4 mission from Cape Canaveral in the US. The launch puts the company within touching distance of its ambitious mission to assemble one of the world`s most advanced constellations of low-earth-orbit imaging satellites.
CEO of Pixxel, Awais Ahmed said that in 2017 from being one of the very few finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition to launching a satellite as part of SpaceX`s fourth rideshare mission, life has come full circle.
Shakuntala (TD-2) weighs less than 15 Kg and is capable of capturing orbital images in more than 150 bands of colour from the visible and infrared spectrum with a resolution of 10-metres per pixel that exceeds the specificity of 30-metre per pixel hyperspectral satellites, which was launched by a few select organisations like ESA, NASA and ISRO.
Shakuntala will begin amassing information in just a few weeks from the launch and will uncover the invisible changes of our planet like deforestation, natural gas leakages, pollution, declining crop health and melting ice caps.
Pixxel had recently raised $25 million from Seraphim Space Capital, Radical Ventures, Relativity Space co-founder Jordan Noone, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, and Sparta LLC among others in a Series A funding, in addition to over fifty customers who have signed pre-launch agreements from industries across oil and gas, agriculture, climate sector and mining.