Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lockheed Martin-Built IKONOS Satellite Marks 10 Years In Operations

Lockheed Martin-Built IKONOS Satellite Marks 10 Years In Operations
September 24, 2009

DENVER, -- The world's first commercial, high-resolution, Earth imaging satellite, IKONOS, will achieve its 10th year of operation on Sept. 24. Built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], the satellite continues to provide high-resolution imagery of the Earth to commercial and government customers around the world. IKONOS is owned and operated by GeoEye [NASDAQ: GEOY] of Dulles, Va.

"When we launched IKONOS in 1999, many said it would change the way we look at the world, and that prediction has certainly come to fruition," said Jim Crocker, vice president and general manager of Sensing and Exploration Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

The spacecraft collects 0.82-meter resolution black-and-white imagery while simultaneously collecting four-meter resolution multispectral data. These map-accurate images are used for applications in land management, environmental monitoring, local and regional government, national security, disaster relief, and many other geospatial applications.

IKONOS is based on the Lockheed Martin LM900 LEO, three-axis stabilized, remote sensing bus. At a weight of 1600 pounds (720 kg), it's a stable, highly agile, precision pointing spacecraft ideally suited for high resolution remote sensing missions. In 2007, Lockheed Martin performed a life expectancy analysis of the spacecraft and determined it may continue to be fully operational into the next decade. IKONOS is one of 150 small satellites developed by Lockheed Martin, all of which have met or exceeded their design life.

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