Blacksky technology said it had reached a five-year exclusive package purchase agreement with NASA to support NASA’s earth observation research using high return visit satellite imaging data.
The agreement announced today is part of NASA’s commercial small satellite data acquisition program (CSDAP). It will enable researchers to access frequently updated high-resolution images through blacksky’s spectrum AI geospatial data platform.
Spectrum AI provides global real-time environmental monitoring using blacksky’s on-demand satellite constellation and images from other sources. Blacksky’s satellite is manufactured in tuquila, Washington, by a joint venture between Leo Stella, Virginia, and Thales Alenia space.
Blacksky’s history can be traced back to Seattle based spaceflight industries, which sold spaceflight Inc. at undisclosed prices in 2020 and adopted the blacksky brand. In September this year, blacksky provided $283 million in cash by merging with the blank check of Osprey technology acquisition Corp.
More than 50 of blacksky’s more than 200 employees work in the Seattle area.
Brian O’Toole, chief executive of blacksky, said in a press release that the CSDAP Award “reflects another important coordination point between government needs and blacksky’s commercial real-time global intelligence products.”
“It is essential to help NASA supported researchers expand their understanding of key changes in Earth’s ecosystem, oceanography, geography and polar science,” O’Toole said. “Our constellation provides imaging from dawn to dusk, which is conducive to the automatic mode of life monitoring and anomaly detection. Integrating these data with our spectrum AI platform can make eye-catching and operable scientific observations of our planet.”
The potential value of the purchase agreement has not been reported, but we have contacted blacksky for details and will update this report based on any news we hear. The commercial smallsat data acquisition program has signed purchase agreements with several other spatial image providers, including Airbus, maxar, planet and spire.
Also today, blacksky announced its quarterly financial results, the first such report since the company went public in September.
The company said its total revenue in the third quarter was $7.9 million, an increase of 49% over the same period last year. The net loss for the quarter was $46.9 million, equivalent to a diluted loss of 67 cents per share. Adjusted EBITDA loss was $16.2 million. Blacksky said its cash balance at the end of the quarter was $198 million.
In a press release, O’Neill pointed out the growth of income. “We have demonstrated strong execution in all aspects of our business, and we will continue to provide customers with proactive advantages,” he said.
BlackSky said that the 2021 revenue forecast was revised from $40 million to $30 million to $34 million, mainly due to COVID-19’s impact on the supply chain and the timing of the start of the new contract.
Due to the launch failure of rocket laboratory, two satellites of blacksky were lost in May, but rocket laboratory plans to launch two more satellites from New Zealand as early as next week. Blacksky’s former sister company spaceflight Inc. in Seattle is handling launch logistics. If the launch is successful, the global constellation of blacksky will be increased to 9 satellites, and it is planned to have 30 satellites by 2025.
Blacksky shares fell 13% today to close at $8.85.