Space: February 24, 2001


The US government has licensed the Space Imaging company to offer satellite photos with a resolution of 0.5 meters, the first time such accurate images will be available to the public. Space Images uses its Ikonos-I satellite, which currently offers 1-meter images, and plans to launch a second satellite in 2004. The only government limit on these images is a 24-hour delay between the taking of the image and its delivery to the customer, designed to prevent the satellite from providing near real-time targeting information to a group or nation intending to attack US forces. Presumably, in wartime, such images might not be available at all.--Stephen V Cole


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