Science & Technology

UPDATED: Planetary Resources and Spaceflight Industries mark successful rocket launch in India

Updated on Friday morning with details of launch.

A rocket that lifted off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center just before 8 p.m. Pacific time Thursday night carried important payloads for two companies from the Seattle region: Spaceflight Industries and Planetary Resources.

The Arkyd-6 spacecraft is buckled up and ready for launch onboard PSLV-C40! Image courtesy ISRO. #spaceresources pic.twitter.com/7K75D6pXC7

— Planetary Resources (@PlanetaryRsrcs) January 11, 2018

Planetary Resources, the Redmond-based asteroid mining company, had its Arkyd-6 technology demonstrator satellite aboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle as part of PSLV-C40 mission. Arkyd-6 will capture images in midwave infrared wavelengths and send them back to Earth, setting the stage for the technology to be used in future generations of Planetary Resources’ asteroid-surveying spacecraft.

Spaceflight provided launch and mission services for Planetary Resources and more than a dozen other satellites as part of the mission.

Launch day! We’ve got 14 customer spacecraft aboard this one. Can’t wait for successful deployment! #pslvc40 pic.twitter.com/ZDHt2t8HWt

Spaceflight (@SpaceflightInc) January 11, 2018

UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: The rocket launched successfully and Spaceflight is now doing the play-by-play on its Twitter account as different satellites are deployed into orbit.

Iceye-X1 has separated successfully from #PSLVC40! Congrats @iceyefi! Always a pleasure to take great customers to orbit!

Spaceflight (@SpaceflightInc) January 12, 2018

Congratulations ISRO for the dazzling launch of PSLV-C40! Thank you for delivering Arkyd-6 into its target orbit! https://t.co/9er7ymqetB

— Planetary Resources (@PlanetaryRsrcs) January 12, 2018

We received the first telemetry from Arkyd-6 in space and it is alive and well! #contact #itsalive #helloworld

— Planetary Resources (@PlanetaryRsrcs) January 12, 2018

Update, Friday morning: Planetary Resources issued a news release confirming the successful launch.

“The success of the Arykd-6 will validate and inform the design and engineering philosophies we have embraced since the beginning of this innovative project,” said Chris Lewicki, Planetary Resources president and CEO, in the release. “We will continue to employ these methods through the development of the Arkyd-301 and beyond as we progress toward our Space Resource Exploration Mission.”

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