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Planet and SpaceX announce multi-year launch agreement

SpaceX also transported a total of six Planet SkySats to orbit in June 2020 and August 2020 alongside SpaceX Starlink broadband satellites.

Earth imagery satellite operator Planet has signed a multi-year launch agreement with SpaceX that includes multiple rideshare launches on the Falcon 9 rocket through the end of 2025

The first planned launch under this agreement is Flock 4x, 44 SuperDoves on the Falcon 9 Transporter-3 SSO rideshare mission scheduled for launch in December 2021.

Speaking about the deal, Will Marshall, CEO of Planet, said: “I’m excited to continue our partnership with SpaceX. We’ve had seven launches to date. But more than that, we’ve pioneered together rapid planning, manufacturing, and launch of satellites that only Planet and SpaceX could together have achieved.”

The demand for flexible, high-resolution imagery of the Earth has skyrocketed in recent years as companies across the world seek daily global insights for their industries. Planet operates the world’s largest Earth Observation (EO) satellite constellation to date, with 200 satellites in orbit.

Tom Ochinero, Vice President of Commercial Sales of SpaceX, added: “We’re honoured that Planet has chosen SpaceX as its go-to launch provider. As the demand for Planet’s services continues to soar, SpaceX’s regular launch cadence will allow Planet’s customers to use its services with as little downtime after manufacturing as possible.”

This multi-year launch agreement enables Planet to launch much of its emerging satellite projects including future SuperDoves and Carbon Mapper.

To date, Planet has launched 83 satellites with SpaceX over the course of seven launches. The most recent of which include the launches of SkySats 16-18 and 19-21 aboard Starlink missions, and the launch of Flock 4s, 48 SuperDoves, on the record-breaking Transporter-1 SSO rideshare launch.

While SpaceX is becoming Planet’s go-to-launch provider, Planet will continue to sign deals with other launch providers. “Planet maintains a diversified launch manifest to mitigate risks inherent to the launch industry,” the company said.

Last month, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV, a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company.