UrtheCast’s (pronounced Earthcast) 4.5-foot-long camera, designed to handle the radiation and extreme temperatures of orbit, will record 90-second videos 150 times a day as the spacecraft circles the planet, Larson says. A second camera will continuously snap still photos. Together, the stills will cover a 47.3-kilometer-wide swath of the planet and generate 2.5 terabytes of data a day, the equivalent of about 270 full-length movies. UrtheCast’s engineers will condense and post the visuals to the company’s website an hour or two later. “With our images, you can see things moving and changing,” Larson says.
Powered by the space station, UrtheCast will be able to shoot images at night, something existing providers’ solar-powered satellites don’t do, Larson says. “That’s something unique. There’s a great application potential,” says Timothy Puckorius, chief executive officer of Earth Observation Technologies, which plans to act as UrtheCast’s account manager for some government clients.