Saturday, September 6, 2008

GeoEye-1 Satellite Successfully Launched

GeoEye-1, the world's highest resolution, commercial Earth-imaging satellite, was successfully launched into orbit on Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.

GeoEye-1, which was built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, is part of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) NextView program. The NextView program is designed to ensure that the NGA has access to commercial imagery in support of its mission to provide timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security.

GeoEye-1 will simultaneously collect 0.41-meter ground resolution black-and-white (panchromatic) images and 1.65-meter color (multispectral) images. Designed to take digital images of the Earth from 681 kilometers and moving at a speed of about seven kilometers per second, the satellite camera can distinguish objects on the Earth's surface as small as 0.41-meter in size. Due to U.S. licensing restrictions, commercial customers will get access to imagery at half-meter ground resolution.