Rocket launch in India tonight carries high stakes for Planetary Resources and Spaceflight Industries

A rocket set to lift off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center just before 8 p.m. Pacific time Thursday will be carrying important payloads for two companies from the Seattle region: Spaceflight Industries and Planetary Resources.

Planetary Resources, the Redmond-based asteroid mining company, will have 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 is providing launch and mission services for Planetary Resources and more than a dozen other satellites as part of today’s mission.

Check back for updates later tonight. A live stream of the launch is available here.