A project dubbed EarthNow LLC project was launched on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The aim of the project is to provide better video coverage of planet earth by launching 500 small satellites. The project drew the world’s biggest billionaires; Microsoft founder, Bill Gates and Soft Group’s Chief Executive Masayoshi Son, along with Airbus SE as investors.
The founder and CEO of the EarthNow project, Russell Hannigan at the unveiling stated that there is no firm price tag, launch schedule, or technical details yet since the project is still in the early stages.
The EarthNow project will launch satellites that will weigh about 227 Kg each, Mr. Hannigan said in an interview. He also mentioned that the total cost of the system will be over $1 Billion. Greg Wyler, a satellite entrepreneur, is the fourth investor but he did not disclose the amount raised in the initial funding.
Mr. Hannigan, however, revealed that the amount raised so far only covers the initial planning as well as the technical studies of the project. He is also hopeful that the prominence of the early investors will attract other investors.
The startup is based in a suburb of Seattle with a small staff. It is believed that interest in this startup will rise with its popularity. This is because the startup has been unveiled at a time when interest in satellites is high.
In recent times, many organizations have launched small satellites close to the earth in an attempt to collect data for security and commercial purposes. Governments have also not been left out. Just in a period of 10 ten years, the number of countries with satellites around the earth has increased by 100%.
EarthNow is similar to a project founded by Paul Allen. The project called Stratolaunch Systems also aims at launching small satellites.
These developments have led to a further discussion on investments in the space sector. Analysts have noted that the space sector has attracted over 4 billion worth of investment in a period of 10 years.
EarthNow may have been launched at the right time considering the fact that Pentagon has made public its intentions to buy satellite images and data from external suppliers. EarthNow may be making some good sales if they are successful.
The CEO of EarthNow is confident that the company will outwit rivals in the provision of useful images and data.