Indian startup Pixxel launches 'Shakuntala' satellite with Elon Musk's SpaceX

Updated: 2 days ago

Pixxel, an Indian Spacetech business, has launched Shakuntala, its first commercial satellite. This is a full-fledged commercial satellite that was launched with SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket, which is managed by Elon Musk. The spacecraft is home to one of the highest-resolution hyperspectral commercial cameras ever launched into orbit, bringing it one step closer to constructing a 24-hour health monitor for the globe.

The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, as part of SpaceX's Transporter-4 mission. The launch brings the business closer to completing its ambitious aim of assembling one of the most sophisticated constellations of low-earth-orbit imaging satellites in the world.

Life has come full circle for Pixxel CEO Awais Ahmed, who went from being one of the few finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition to launch a satellite as part of SpaceX's fourth rideshare mission in 2017.

Shakuntala (TD-2) is a small satellite that can capture orbital images in more than 150 bands of colour from the visible and infrared spectrum with a resolution of 10-meters per pixel, which outperforms the specificity of 30-meter per pixel hyperspectral satellites launched by a few select organisations such as ESA, NASA, and ISRO.

Shakuntala will begin collecting data just a few weeks after its debut, revealing the planet's hidden changes such as deforestation, natural gas leakages, pollution, poor crop health, and melting ice caps.

Pixxel recently raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by Seraphim Space Capital, Radical Ventures, Relativity Space co-founder Jordan Noone, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, and Sparta LLC, as well as over fifty customers from the oil and gas, agriculture, climate sector, and mining industries.

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