BlackSky Pathfinder-1


BlackSky Pathfinder-1
NamesPathfinder 1
Mission typeEarth Imaging
OperatorBlackSky Global[1]
COSPAR ID2016-059E
SATCAT no.41787
Mission duration3 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLeoStella with Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass44 kg (97 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date26 September 2016,
03:42 UTC[2]
Launch siteSatish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, First Launch Pad (FLP)
ContractorIndian Space Research Organisation
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeSun-synchronous orbit
Perigee altitude664 km (413 mi)
Apogee altitude706 km (439 mi)
Period90.00 minutes
BlackSky constellation

BlackSky Pathfinder-1 is an Earth imaging satellite.[3] The satellite is equipped with payloads from Harris Corporation designed to image an area approximately 4.4 × 6.6 km (2.7 × 4.1 mi).[4]

It is a demonstration satellite for BlackSky Global, a Seattle-based company intending to field a fleet of 60 spacecraft to offer on-demand high-resolution images of any place on the planet. The U.S.-built Earth observing platform weighed about 44 kg (97 lb), and will lay the foundation for BlackSky's commercial remote sensing business, which officials announced in June 2015. The main objective of the pathfinder is to return imagery, an achievement that would prove the basic technology behind the planned commercial Earth-observing satellite fleet. The satellite is designed for three-year lifetimes and will have an imaging resolution of about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) from an altitude of 450 km (280 mi).[5]

This is first in a series of 60 satellites planned to deploy the BlackSky constellation that will provide near real-time images in about 90 minutes to produce images that are more current and wide-ranging to increase global transparency.[4]

The satellite was launched at 03:42 UTC on 26 September 2016 by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using the PSLV-C35 launch vehicle.[6]


  1. ^ "BlackSky Global 1, 2, 3, 4 / BlackSky Pathfinder 1, 2". Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  2. ^ Jodi Sorensen. "Industries Celebrates Successful Launch of the BlackSky Pathfinder Satellite Aboard India's PSLV". Spaceflight. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  3. ^ Boyle, Alan. "Indian rocket sends BlackSky satellite into space". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Spaceflight Industries Celebrates Successful Launch of the BlackSky Pathfinder Satellite Aboard India's PSLV". Business Wire. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Display: Pathfinder 1 2016-059E". NASA. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ "ISRO's PSLV-C35 places SCATSAT-1 into orbit; on its way to place seven others". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 September 2016.