As a private company, black sky It is famous for providing satellite imagery and data analysis mainly to military and government customers. But now it is an independent public company, and the satellite subsidiary that started in Seattle has set its sights higher.
“This is an exciting result for the company,” said BlackSky CEO Brian O’Toole, who rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange today. “This will provide more than $280 million in capital for our growth plans. We are in the early stages of an exciting new space field.”
As a result of the business merger between BlackSky and Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp.-which has been in place for several months and became fully effective last week-the company’s stock is currently trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BKSY.
This is the latest in a series of space-related transactions involving a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). (Other notable space-SPAC transactions involve Virgin Galactic, Astra and Rocket Lab), this is also the latest chapter of a joint venture established as a subsidiary of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries in 2013, and broke out independently after another subsidiary of Umbrella Corporation last year. Aerospace company, Was acquired by a Japanese joint venture.
BlackSky’s holdings include a group of earth observation satellites and a half-interest in LeoStella (together with Thales Alenia Space), a satellite manufacturing company headquartered in Tukwila, Washington. But O’Toole likes to say that BlackSky is more than just a satellite company:
“This has nothing to do with satellite imagery,” he told GeekWire in an interview last week. “It’s really about real-time global intelligence and enabling a whole new group of customers that has never been before to access our capabilities and data.”
For many years, BlackSky has provided real-time geospatial intelligence to government and military customers through its artificial intelligence-based Spectra software platform.Just last month, the company Win contract modifications and provide monthly subscriptions for the National Reconnaissance Bureau To its on-demand satellite imagery.
O’Toole stated that the funds released from the Osprey SPAC transaction will make it possible to provide Spectra services to a wider market.
“We have received a lot of interest from the commercial sector,” he said. “In the second quarter, we had more than 30 different companies contacting us. These range from global construction companies to global energy companies to insurance operators. It has been going on-just the need for easy access to this type of data Suppressed.”
O’Toole said that the newly injected SPAC funds will be used to expand BlackSky’s sales force, improve the Spectra platform-and strengthen the BlackSky Global constellation, which currently has seven satellites in low earth orbit.
Spectra is already accelerating the pace of satellite intelligence collection. “We see that we can get customers to join our platform very quickly within a day,” he said. “Then they can assign missions to our satellites and obtain data within 90 minutes.”
After solving the launch failure that caused the loss of two satellites in May, Rocket Lab plans to launch as many as six BlackSky satellites before the end of the year. O’Toole pointed out that this will increase the orbital fleet to a dozen spacecraft.
“This is a very important milestone for us because it allows us to provide revisit performance approximately once an hour throughout the day,” he explained.
In just a few years, the constellation will reach a full complement of 30 satellites, including a third-generation spacecraft that will be equipped with higher-resolution cameras and short-wave infrared night vision devices. O’Toole vowed that the upgrade will continue.
Although BlackSky’s focus has shifted from Seattle to Herndon, Virginia over the years, O’Toole said the newly listed company will maintain a strong corporate influence in the Pacific Northwest. More than 50 of the company’s 200 employees work in Seattle.
“Even after this merger, we still own 50% of LeoStella, located in Tukwila. They are building our satellite and will continue to do so. This transaction will also help them-it allows them to clearly understand that we are from The facility issued an order,” O’Toole said. “So yes, I think Seattle has long been a source of our company’s space-centric expertise.”