Space: Cheap Eyes For Everyone


July 28, 2008: Chile has been shopping around for a spy satellite for the last year. After entertaining two dozen offers, they settled on a French bird (from EADS-Astrium) that will cost them $72 million, and be in orbit within two years. The satellite will be in an orbit that will bring it over Chile about fifteen times a day, and its day and night cameras will be used to keep an eye on the nation's borders, and to provide quick views of natural disaster sites.

Two of Chiles neighbors had recently acquired their own spy satellite, and that may have had something to do with this shopping trip. Basic spy satellite technology is getting cheaper and cheaper, which is why Chile got their bird for a lot less than the half a billion bucks it would have cost a decade or so ago.


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