Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S.A – The WorldView-1 satellite launched successfully on Tuesday September 18, 2007, the satellite built for DigitalGlobe was lofted into space aboard a Delta II rocket. The satellite separated from the rocket about an hour after liftoff to reach an orbit of 496 Km or 308 miles above the Earth.
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Shortly after the launch, a DigitalGlobe ground station received a down link signal confirming that the satellite successfully separated from its launch vehicle and had automatically initialized its onboard processors. WorldView-1 is currently undergoing a calibration and check-out period and will deliver imagery soon after. First panchromatic imagery from WorldView-1 at a resolution 0.5 at Nadir is expected to be available prior to October 18th, 2007, the six-year anniversary of the launch of QuickBird, DigitalGlobe’s current satellite.
WorldView-1 is part of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) NextView program, and was partially financed through an agreement with the NGA. The majority of the imagery captured by WorldView-1 for the NGA will also be available for distribution through DigitalGlobe’s Image Library. Additionally, WorldView-1 immediately frees capacity on DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird to meet the growing commercial demand for multi-spectral geospatial imagery.
WorldView-1 is expected to be in operation for about seven years, it is the first of two advanced remote sensing satellites that DigitalGlobe plans to launch. DigitalGlobe has said its sister satellite WorldView-2 will be launched late next year.
DigitalGlobe also manages the QuickBird commercial satellite launched in 2001. WorldView-1 panchromatic Image data has a resolution of 0.5 meters at Nadir what is slightly higher than QuickBird, the new probe can store more images because it has a larger onboard system.