Press Release

Lockheed Martin-Built Commercial Earth Imaging Satellite Marks 11 Years On-Orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
October 10, 2010
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IKONOS, the world’s first commercial, high-resolution Earth-imaging satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and currently operated by GeoEye, Inc. (Nasdaq:GEOY), has achieved 11 years of successful on-orbit operations.

A first-of-its-kind satellite, IKONOS was launched on Sept. 24, 1999 to provide high-resolution imagery of the Earth for worldwide commercial and government customers. The spacecraft continues to collect 0.82-meter resolution black-and-white images while simultaneously collecting four-meter resolution multispectral data more than four years beyond its initial design life. These images are used for a wide-range of applications, including land management, environmental monitoring, local and regional government, national security, disaster relief, and other geospatial applications.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is progressing steadily under a contract to design, build, and launch GeoEye’s next-generation, commercial Earth-imaging satellite, known as GeoEye-2. The spacecraft, based on the latest generation of the LMx configure to order low earth orbit bus product line initiated with IKONOS, will feature a new high-resolution ITT camera that has been in development for more than two years. In August, the team successfully completed a System Requirements Review on schedule, proving the design maturity and readiness for the Preliminary Design Review set for later this year.

GeoEye-2 will be launched aboard an Atlas V rocket provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and will be operational in early 2013.

“We are proud of the high performance and longevity of IKONOS and the significant value it is providing to GeoEye and its customers around the globe,” said Allen Anderson, Lockheed Martin’s GeoEye-2 program director. “We look forward to delivering even greater remote sensing capabilities as we work swiftly to deliver a total system solution and achieve mission success on the GeoEye-2 program.”

Lockheed Martin is developing GeoEye-2 under a fixed-price contract to support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s EnhancedView commercial imagery program. GeoEye was awarded an EnhancedView contract on Aug. 6, 2010, worth up to $3.8 billion over the next 10 years. EnhancedView is designed to provide critical geospatial situational awareness and global security information to intelligence analysts, war fighters, and decision makers. GeoEye’s commercial users will also benefit from access to imagery from GeoEye-2.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.5 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.