Indian Startup Pixxel Launches ‘Shakuntala’ Satellite with Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Indian satellite Pixel, a space tech startup, has successfully launched its first full-fledged commercial satellite, dubbed ‘Shakuntala,’ using SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket, which is run by Elon Musk.

‘Shakuntala,’ Pixxel’s first fully-fledged satellite, hosts one of the highest resolution hyperspectral commercial cameras ever flown to orbit, putting the company one step closer to developing a 24×7 health monitor for the globe, according to the company.

This launch, which took place on Friday on SpaceX’s Transporter-4 mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, gets the business closer to completing its ambitious aim of assembling one of the world’s most advanced constellations of low-earth-orbit imaging satellites.

“Life has come full circle for us,” said Awais Ahmed, CEO of Pixel, “from being one of the few finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2017 to now launching our own satellites as part of SpaceX’s fourth dedicated rideshare mission.”

Shakuntala (TD-2) is a small satellite that can capture orbital images in more than 150 bands of color from the visible and infrared spectrum with a resolution of 10-meters per pixel, much above the specificity of 30-meter per pixel hyperspectral spacecraft launched by NASA, ESA, and ISRO.

Shakuntala will begin collecting data and discovering the invisible changes wreaking havoc on our globes, such as natural gas leakages, deforestation, melting ice caps, pollution, and poor crop health, just a few weeks after its start.

Pixel received $25 million in Series A funding from a number of investors, including Radical Ventures, Seraphim Space Capital, Relativity Space co-founder Jordan Noone, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, and Sparta LLC.

It paves the way for the launch of Pixxel’s first commercial phase satellites in early 2023. Also, Want to alter the photo on your Aadhaar card? Check out how to update a photograph in a few easy steps.

Pixxel’s hyperspectral constellation will be able to cover any place in the world every 48 hours, thanks to six satellites in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) around a 550-kilometer altitude. Also Read: The Real Estate Association writes to CM Yogi, pleading for intervention to keep builders from going bankrupt.


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