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The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket awaiting launch  (Source: Reuters)
One more imagery satellite launched into orbit over the weekend

The GeoEye-1 satellite was successfully launched into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket over the weekend, according to GeoEye Inc. officials.  The two-ton satellite will orbit 423 miles above Earth's surface while capturing images specifically for online mapping.  

"ULA is pleased to have successfully launched the GeoEye-1 satellite for our GeoEye and Boeing Launch Systems customers," ULA vice president of the Delta Product Line Jim Sponnick said in a statement released to the press.  "We are excited to be part of the team that built and launched this advanced satellite technology, which will ultimately provide the highest-resolution view of our home planet ever available to scientists, businesses, the US government, and private citizens."

The United States government, Google, and others will be able to use the high-resolution camera aboard the satellite for satellite imagery to be used for Google Earth, Google Maps, and similar programs.  The GeoEye-1 is now the world's highest resolution, commercial Earth-imaging satellite, with its main ground station located in Norway.  

GeoEye-1 is part of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's NextView program, a government organization aimed at providing updated and accurate intelligence satellite images for use by the National Security Agency and other government intelligence organizations.

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were at Vandenberg AFB to watch the launch live.

Most commercial satellite images available have a resolution of 61 centimeters, while the GeoEye-1 can capture images at 41 centimeters.  Due to a GeoEye license with the federal government, Google will be able to use the images with a resolution of 50 centimeters.

The satellite is "performing properly" and is going to be prepped for the next satellite phase before it can begin work.  GeoEye will make the satellite undergo a mandatory calibration period where several tests will be run before commercial images will be captured for use by the public.

GeoEye already has plans to launch the GeoEye-2 satellite in 2011.

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By ninus3d on 9/8/2008 5:30:25 AM , Rating: 3
I dont understand how the resolution work, are anyone able to explain this...
When it says resolution of 41 centimetres, does it mean that on sea level it can display 41 centimetre as 1 pixel?
If so then that isnt that good as I've seen satelite images showing pictures of humans beeing as large as 10 pixels in width (top down)

Did I look at something I shouldnt have? :P

RE: Resolution
By JKflipflop98 on 9/8/2008 5:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
NASA and the USAF have satellites with much finer detail. Apparently 50 centimeters is what the US government deems "safe" for the public to consume.

RE: Resolution
By jgvandemeer on 9/8/2008 10:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
That's what it means. A resolution of 41 cm means that's the smallest size object it can see. Anything smaller is less than a single pixel.

RE: Resolution
By jimbojimbo on 9/8/2008 3:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
You mean to tell me that something .4 meters across will show as one pixel? If so that is some crappy resolution.

RE: Resolution
By yanman on 9/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Resolution
By JediJeb on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Resolution
By sdoorex on 9/9/2008 2:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
jimbojimbo is correct. 41cm is 0.41m as a cm is 1/100 of a meter. 41mm would be 0.041m.

RE: Resolution
By 91TTZ on 9/8/2008 10:31:09 AM , Rating: 3
I dont understand how the resolution work, are anyone able to explain this...

The pictures you saw were probably taken from an airplane. They have much higher resolution since they're much closer to the ground.

RE: Resolution
By wavetrex on 9/9/2008 10:20:43 AM , Rating: 2
What airplane can take pictures of something that is 30miles wide in a single shot ?

Plus the clouds and their shadows can be seen perfectly, and they look like the pic was taken very very high above earth.

Something is really wrong with this measurement. Some poster before said that he saw people which occupy a few pixels. I saw such detail too.

Maybe it's 40cm for 16 pixels, or someting like that, and NOT one pixel.

RE: Resolution
By JediJeb on 9/9/2008 1:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
If you can see the person from head to foot, the average person would be about 170-180cm tall, that would be 4-5 pixels at this resolution.

Can anyone explain to me...
By swizeus on 9/8/2008 4:15:12 AM , Rating: 2
50 centimeters

Equals to how many Mega Pixels ?

By JKflipflop98 on 9/8/2008 5:53:29 AM , Rating: 3
If you mean for your personal home digital camera, it's about -160. :)

By Shawn on 9/8/2008 2:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to see what the pictures look like.

Didnt know
By AFMatt on 9/9/2008 8:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
I saw this launch from my backyard on Saturday and had no idea it was GeoEye.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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