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Archive for July, 2006

Update: North Korea Taepodong Missile Satellite Image

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Over the July 4 US holiday, we did a quick summary of the North Korean Taepodong missile. While we wrote that experts considered a test launch to be imminent, little did we know that within hours of our posting, several test firings would take place.

Following is a thumbnail of our high-resolution IKONOS image of the facility, taken at 82-cm resolution. The thumbnail links to the large version of the image, in which you can distinctly see the following:

Taepodong-2 launching pad

Mission control building

Missile assembly and checkout building

As of this writing, North Korea has launched a total of seven test missiles – with varying success. According to reports, all missiles fell into the Sea of Japan.

While the measured success of the missiles varied, they did succeed in igniting fierce discussion among major powers within the region, as well as the United States, whose borders fall within estimates of the Taepodong-2′s flight range. Japan, China, Russia, and the US each have had varying responses to the tests, and an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Counsel was called on Wednesday in reaction to the events.

About the image: Satellite Imaging Corporation featured image of Taepodong was captured by the GeoEye IKONOS Satellite Sensor. The IKONOS Satellite is capable of .82-meter resolution at nadir, and its high-resolution data makes an integral contribution to homeland security, coastal monitoring and facilitates 3D Terrain analysis. See additional IKONOS images – as well as images from other high-res satellites – in the SIC Satellite Images gallery.

Satellite Image of North Korea Taepodong Missile Testing Site

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Satellite Imaging Corporation’s featured photo this month is an IKONOS satellite image of North Korea’s Taepodong Missile Launch Complex.

In June, the site became the focus of a US State Department attention, as the N. Korean government apparently concluded the fueling procedures for what is alleged to be the “Taepodong-2″ ballistic missile, which is believed to have a flight range of somewhere between 2500 and 9000 miles, along with the ability to carry a 2000-lb payload.

For reference, Pyongyang, N. Korea is about 6000 miles from Los Angeles, and about 7200 miles from New York City.

On June 19, USA Today reported that a full fueling of the missile typically leaves a 30-day launch opportunity, since the process is “difficult to reverse.” Consequently, US officials are concerned that a test of the missile, which violates an agreement that North Korea has upheld since 1999, is imminent.

Satellite Imaging Corp.’s high-resolution photo of the Taepodong Missile Complex shows the missile checkout and assembly building, mission control building, and the actual launching pad for the Taepodong-2 missile. The image was captured on June 16, 2006 with the IKONOS Satellite Sensor at a resolution of .82 meters.

See additional photos in the SIC IKONOS satellite image gallery.