UPDATED: Planetary Resources and Spaceflight Industries mark successful rocket launch in India

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Updated on Friday morning with details of launch.

A rocket that lifted off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center just before 8 p.m. Pacific time Thursday night carried important payloads for two companies from the Seattle region: Spaceflight Industries and Planetary Resources.

Planetary Resources, the Redmond-based asteroid mining company, had 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 provided launch and mission services for Planetary Resources and more than a dozen other satellites as part of the mission.

UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: The rocket launched successfully and Spaceflight is now doing the play-by-play on its Twitter account as different satellites are deployed into orbit.

Update, Friday morning: Planetary Resources issued a news release confirming the successful launch.

“The success of the Arykd-6 will validate and inform the design and engineering philosophies we have embraced since the beginning of this innovative project,” said Chris Lewicki, Planetary Resources president and CEO, in the release. “We will continue to employ these methods through the development of the Arkyd-301 and beyond as we progress toward our Space Resource Exploration Mission.”

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