10 commercial satellites were just launched from California
Ten commercial Earth-imaging satellites have been launched into space from California.
An Orbital ATK Minotaur C rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:37 p.m. Oct. 31.
Deployment was to occur about 12 minutes later during a communications blackout period. Confirmation of deployment was expected about an hour and a half after launch, according to the Orbital ATK webcast.
A map of currently tracked satellite objects. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The six SkySat satellites and four miniature Dove satellites — each about the size of a loaf of bread — were bound for orbits 310 miles (500 kilometers) above the Earth to join dozens of other satellites that provide streams of data to San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc.
The satellites are designed to gather medium- and high-resolution multispectral images of Earth for businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations.