San Francisco seen by a RapidEye satellite. Photo: Planet Labs Inc.

After about 12 years of collecting photos of Earth from orbit, a set of five satellites have closed their eyes on our planet.

The big picture: Planet's RapidEye satellites, which first launched to space in 2008, contributed to a revolution in how we understand our planet.

  • Operating satellites that can see the Earth from space was initially only the purview of the most wealthy nations.
  • However, the recent proliferation of commercial satellite companies makes Earth data available to anyone, changing how we understand weather, climate, industry and more.

Details: Planet acquired the RapidEye satellites from BlackBridge in 2015, and it's created the world's largest collection of 5-meter satellite imagery, according to the company.

  • The constellation of satellites has captured more than 660,000 pictures of Earth's total landmass, Planet said.
  • The satellites' final photos show San Francisco, Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany.
  • The satellites could still function, but Planet says it's ending their operation in part to prevent them from becoming space junk that clutters orbit.

Between the lines: While many companies are collecting and attempting to analyze the data beamed down from orbit each day, big data from space still isn't yet widely applicable to a variety of industries.

  • Most companies that operate Earth-imaging satellites still rely on government contracts and major industries like oil and gas for much of their business.

Go deeper: Tracking epidemics from space

Go deeper

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.