Capella Space Reveals First Light Imagery from Capella-14 “Born in the USA” Mission

On April 7, SpaceX launched Capella Space’s Capella-14 “Born in the USA” Mission to honor Capella Space’s heritage as the first American SAR provider and in thanks for the support of our customers in the United States. After wrapping up Capella’s fully automated commissioning process, we’re thrilled to release Capella-14 first light imagery from around the United States.

Known as the "birthplace of the American revolution," Boston is one of the most historic cities in the United States. This midnight image shows a vessel on its way inland from the Boston Harbor.
This colorized subaperture image (CSI) of Boston shows a vessel in motion, on its way inland from the Boston Harbor. CSI helps analysts identify manmade objects and track their movement over the duration of the collect.

C-14 was successfully launched on the SpaceX Bandwagon-1 mission. Soon after reaching its 45 degree orbit, Capella’s in-house operations team made first contact with the satellite and completed a fully automated primary commissioning of the satellite close to 24 hours post-launch. 

A view from Space: Capella 14 boom deployment

The SpaceX Bandwagon missions are a big step for the small satellite industry as a recognition of the importance of mid-inclination orbits for better coverage over key areas of interest. From the beginning, Capella has worked to build a constellation around the concept of maximizing revisit and optimizing imagery collection in key theaters. For example, with a single satellite in a 45 degree inclination, Capella is able to collect 8 to 9 long-dwell spotlight images per day. It isn’t just about the size of the constellation to meet mission needs, but having an agile and reliable concept of operations that can deliver imagery where and when it is needed most.  

Capella is proud to share the recent launch manifest with other earth observation companies, like Hawkeye 360, that are familiar with the high-revisit benefits of mid-inclination orbits. We welcome other satellite operators to mid-inclination orbits to reap the benefits with their own constellations. The SpaceX Bandwagon-1 launch was also shared with the first satellite from the Korea 425 program, demonstrating a wider range of governments’ understanding and demand for optimized orbits.  

Home to one of the world's largest business centers and the headquarters of the United Nations, New York City is a key bridge to the international community and a multi-cultural hub of food, arts and culture.
As one of the largest archeological preserves in the United States, Mesa Verde National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for the ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and other artifacts of ancient Native American culture.

Stay tuned for more announcements about upcoming launches for Capella in 2024.

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