Planetary Resources has been working on the Arkyd-6 spacecraft for a few years. The last time we saw Arkyd-6 was during delivery last November.
We’re incredibly excited to share that the Arkyd-6 spacecraft launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre onboard PSLV-C40 on January 12, 2018. The launch went well and Arkyd-6 was successfully deployed into its target orbit.
Immediately after launch, our team prepared for first contact from our Mission Operations Center. The moment we first received data was incredible.
We have achieved two-way communication with the spacecraft. From that, we’ve confirmed that the autonomous systems have kicked in. Attitude control is functioning properly and allowing us to use the solar panels to charge the battery. Arkyd-6 is busy gathering and recording data including precise information about its orbit.
Now that we’ve checked out the basic systems of the spacecraft, we’ll be moving onto more advanced features: we’ll send software updates, confirm the ability of the spacecraft to precisely point, and then capture our first mid-wave infrared image.
This has been one of the most exciting times in the history of the company. It’s incredibly rewarding to see something that we worked so long and hard on begin its mission in space.
Director of Software