Countdown to WorldView-4 Earth Imaging Satellite Launch
After a more than 250-mile road trip in a cleanroom-on-wheels, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered DigitalGlobe’s (NYSE: DGI) WorldView-4 satellite to Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Lockheed Martin-built WorldView-4 was transported by truck in a special container that mimics the environment of the cleanroom where the satellite was manufactured. The route is planned by a vehicle outfitted with LIDAR technology that can detect low overpasses, branches and other hazards.
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Before shipping, the satellite passed a full suite of environmental, functional and performance tests and was declared ready for integration with the rocket that will carry it to an altitude of nearly 400 miles in space.
The rocket, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, has a four meter fairing to safely hold the satellite as it accelerates to 17,000 miles per hour during launch – more than seven times faster than the top speed clocked by the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet plane ever.
WorldView-4 is the latest in a series of imaging and data satellites built by Lockheed Martin for customers around the world. The satellite is outfitted with a camera so accurate it can discern the make and model of a car, advanced star trackers to ensure precision pointing, and antennas that share the collected information back to Earth.
Once launched, the satellite will more than double DigitalGlobe’s coverage of the world’s highest-resolution imagery and increase the rate at which it grows its 15-year library of time-lapse high-resolution imagery. WorldView-4 will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, traveling 17,000 miles per hour and capturing more than 680,000 square kilometers of the Earth’s surface daily (18 terabytes) - the equivalent of the land area of Texas.
Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) - view original press release
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