Soyuz image by Roskosmos

Last month, Google announced plans to acquire satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million. Today, the soon to be Google-owned company announced that it has successfully launched its SkySat-2 Earth observation satellite aboard a Soyuz-2 rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Already based in Google’s home of Mountain View, California, Google says it will use Skybox’s satellites to keep Google Maps’ imagery up-to-date. The search giant also revealed that it would use Skybox’s tech to help improve internet access and disaster relief efforts. Today’s launch efforts are a follow up to SkySat-1, which launched last year and captured some of the world’s first HD video of Earth taken from space.

Currently, Skybox has plans to launch 22 more satellites that will be used to collect additional high-resolution images of Earth and its landmarks. As it stands, the company’s deal with Google is still pending regulatory approval.


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