Monday 14 November 2016

US launch high resolution Earth Imaging Satellite

A companion to the world’s most powerful private Earth-imaging satellite rocketed into space today from the U.S. west coast atop an Atlas 5 to double the amount of high-resolution imagery available on the commercial market and satisfy the demands of customers clamoring for more. The 10-year mission of the WorldView 4 satellite began at 10:30:33 a.m. local time (1:30:33 p.m. EST; 1830:33 GMT) as the United
Launch Alliance booster powered away from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after an extended wait to fly.
The launch was postponed eight weeks by a 12,500-acre wildfire that scorched Vandenberg in late September and the lengthy repairs to the base’s power grid in the aftermath.
Today’s liftoff culminated an 8-hour countdown highlighted by retraction of the mobile service gantry and the loading of 66,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants into the two-stage vehicle.
Following the signature status check — “Go Atlas,” “Go Centaur,” “Go WorldView 4” — declaring readiness in the final seconds, the main engine rumbled to life and 189-foot-tall rocket gracefully ascended from the pad.
It marked the 137th successful launch in a row for the Atlas program spanning 23 years, the 66th for the Atlas 5 over the span of 14 years and extended United Launch Alliance’s mission record to 112 in nearly 10 years.
DigitalGlobe currently offers the highest resolution imagery of the Earth’s surface — seeing objects 31-cm or just one-foot across — with its WorldView 3 satellite launched by Atlas 5 two years ago.

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