GeoEye launches world's highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite


GeoEye-1 will be lifted into a near-polar orbit by a twelve-story tall United Launch Alliance Delta II 7420-10 configuration launch vehicle.

TheDelta II rocketis expected to deploy the GeoEye-1 spacecraft approximately 58 minutes after lift-off, and the company expects to establish first contact about 90 minutes after launch. In order to achieve the proper orbit, the launch window will only be open for 84 seconds.

Once in orbit, GeoEye-1 will undergo system calibration and testing. The company expects to offer imagery and products to customers in the mid- to late-October timeframe.

Designed and built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, GeoEye-1 is the world's highest resolution commercial imaging satellite.

Designed to take colour images of the earth from 681 km in space and moving at a speed of about 7 km per second, the satellite will make fifteen earth orbits per day and collect imagery with its ITT-built imaging system that can distinguish objects on the earth's surface less than 0.4 metres in size in panchromatic (black & white) mode.

The 1,950 kg satellite will also be able to collect multispectral (colour) imagery at 1.65 metre ground resolution.

GeoEye's operating licence from NOAA requires re-sampling the imagery to half-metre resolution for all customers not explicitly granted a waiver by the US government.

The satellite will be able to see an object the size of baseball home plate and map it to within about three metres of its true location on the surface of the earth without the need for ground control points.

Together, GeoEye's IKONOS and GeoEye-1 satellites can collect almost one million square kilometres of imagery per day.

With the ability to revisit any location on the earth every three days, and more frequently at lower resolution, GeoEye-1 will enable customers to receive imagery updates on a regular basis and is ideal for large-scale mapping projects.

The planned launch time is 11h50m57 PDT. The launch video and commentary will be streamed live over the Internet beginning at about 11h15. Go to or, or Boeing's webcast of the launch at

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