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Rocket launch in India tonight carries high stakes for Planetary Resources and Spaceflight Industries

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A rocket set to lift off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center just before 8 p.m. Pacific time Thursday will be carrying important payloads for two companies from the Seattle region: Spaceflight Industries and Planetary Resources.

The Arkyd-6 spacecraft is buckled up and ready for launch onboard PSLV-C40! Image courtesy ISRO. #spaceresources pic.twitter.com/7K75D6pXC7

— Planetary Resources (@PlanetaryRsrcs) January 11, 2018

Planetary Resources, the Redmond-based asteroid mining company, will have its Arkyd-6 technology demonstrator satellite aboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle as part of PSLV-C40 mission. Arkyd-6 will capture images in midwave infrared wavelengths and send them back to Earth, setting the stage for the technology to be used in future generations of Planetary Resources’ asteroid-surveying spacecraft.

Spaceflight is providing launch and mission services for Planetary Resources and more than a dozen other satellites as part of today’s mission.

Launch day! We’ve got 14 customer spacecraft aboard this one. Can’t wait for successful deployment! #pslvc40 pic.twitter.com/ZDHt2t8HWt

— Spaceflight (@SpaceflightInc) January 11, 2018

Check back for updates later tonight. A live stream of the launch is available here.

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