Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Space startup True Anomaly prepares to launch satellites designed to observe and photograph objects in space

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Space startup True Anomaly is preparing for the first launch of its two satellites, which will maneuver and photograph objects in orbit. This space startup was founded in 2022 and raised funding in the amount of $100 000 000 in December 2023.

Autonomous orbital apparatus Jackal. Source: True Anomaly

Two Jackal satellites weigh about 300 kilograms each. Their launch is planned with the help of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the mission Transporter-10, planned for March 1. The main feature Jackal – in the ability to photograph other satellites with high resolution. They will maneuver at very close distances from each other to create detailed images. In the debut mission, one of the satellites, Jackal, will take detailed pictures of the other.

One of the founders and CEO of True Anomaly, Evan Rodgers, describes Jackal as a new class of space vehicles. The company seeks to compete in the market for space images that are not connected to Earth. Following changes to the licensing process announced last year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Administration, True Anomaly will offer these capabilities as commercial services.

The company has already received a license from NOAA to perform the first mission in low Earth orbit. However, True Anomaly plans to expand its activities and submit new applications for licenses to place satellites with similar capabilities on higher orbits.

According to Rodgers, one of the main interests of True Anomaly – satisfying the growing demand for high-quality data about the cosmic environment. Each Jackal is equipped with five sensors, which include radar, shortwave infrared, longwave infrared, wide angle of view and narrow angle of view cameras.

Rodgers looks optimistically at the future of the business. While there is considerable potential for investment in the development and maintenance of this industry, the leaders of the startup claim that they expect an increase in demand for «awareness about the space sphere», as space becomes more saturated, and competing countries actively develop tracking systems.

According to Rodgers, after successful tests of the technology on orbit, the company plans to create a «constellation of satellites» to launch into geostationary orbit.

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