Google Launches a Real Satellite to Gather High Res Images of the Earth

Sep 8, 2008 • 9:59 am | comments (3) by twitter | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Over the weekend, Google did one of the bigger things in its history (in my humble opinion) by launching a real satellite into space so that it can take high resolution images of the earth's surface. The Associated Press gives some detail into the technology that powers this launch:

A Delta 2 rocket carrying the GeoEye-1 satellite lifted off at 11:50 a.m. Saturday. Video on the GeoEye Web site showed the satellite separating from the rocket moments later on its way to an eventual polar orbit.

Cool? Well, they already have the lead on street view, so why not take it a step further? Of course, the skepticism mounts for taking behavior offline (though again, I think it's cool), and forum members are quick to acknowledge that this is not a project that is owned by Google. Google is partnering with other companies to make the satellite project happen.

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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09/08/2008 03:46 pm

Google doesn´t own the satellite ... but the satellite is probably "working" exclusively for Google.


09/08/2008 06:41 pm

Hum, the website ( does list the partners in this project as Boeing, General Dynamics, ITT Kongsberg, MDA, and Raytheon. Google is NOT listed. What's your source?


09/09/2008 12:41 pm

Google is one of the companies that are on the list to purchase a lot of GeoEye-1 imagery. However GeoEye doesn't have any exclusives that I'm aware of to Google. GeoEye's other active high resolution pan/multispectral satellite IKONOS has been providing imagery to Google maps/earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth and the famous MS Flight Simulator X, Yahoo maps, there's even an upcoming Ubisoft game Tom Clancy's HAWX that is a fighter jet game that uses it for added realism to the gameplay, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's also the, now defunct, OrbView-3 (a panchromatic only satellite) that GeoEye still sells both commercially and federally out of the GeoEye archive imagery. Although Google may have been a very well contributing commercial institution, the satellite was paid for 50/50 both by the GeoEye corportation itself ( as well as the US Government as a part of the NextView program. The satellite itself is owned by GeoEye as a part of its growing constellation with a GeoEye-2 satellite planned to follow on in 2011 or 2012 I believe. The partners listed by Chris below: Boeing, General Dynamics, ITT Kongsberg, MDA, and Raytheon are the contributing partners to the construction and launch of the satellite, but not owners. They were just contracted for their parts, i.e. Boeing's Delta II rocket that was the launch vehicle and the rest worked on components of the satellite itself I believe. I forget who did what, but I believe ITT made the mirror and General Dynamics made the satellite platform. I'm sure you could search GeoEye-1 and any of those company names to get that information. ITT has already been contracted to start on the mirror for GeoEye-2.

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