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South African aerospace start-up readies for launch from Cape Canaveral


people talking as its locally produced microsatellite prepares for launch from Cape Canaveral. As part of the Transporter-6 mission, EOS SAT-1 will launch from SpaceX’s launch pad.

Dragonfly Aerospace’s main office is in Stellenbosch, and they are building a network of “eyes in the sky” that they say will change industries and societies. Its co-founder and CEO, Bryan Dean, says they are very excited about the launch of the SpaceX Transporter-6.

“This is a big moment for Dragonfly Aerospace, and we’re excited to deliver EOS SAT-1,” says Dean. “It’s the first imaging satellite designed and built by Dragonfly, the first microsatellite made in South Africa since 2009, the first satellite in the EOS SAT constellation, and the first agri-focused constellation in space.”

Images from Dragonfly’s EOS SAT-1 will be helpful for harvest monitoring, application mapping, planning for the season, and assessments that look at soil moisture, yield prediction, and biomass levels.

This information will help protect the planet’s environment and keep natural habitats from being destroyed to make room for crops. It will also help keep biodiversity high.

With its two DragonEye electro-optical imagers, EOS SAT-1 can provide panchromatic and multispectral imagery over a 44 km swath and 11 spectral bands with a resolution of close to 1 m. This makes it one of the most capable imaging satellites in LEO.

In April 2021, Dr. Max Polyakov, an international tech entrepreneur, investor, and economist, said he had finished buying a majority stake in Dragonfly Aerospace. Five satellite engineers led by Dean, a world expert in microsatellites and high-resolution cameras, came up with the idea for the new company

The live launch is set for Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at 9:56 ET/14:56 GMT.




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