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ExoLance
OrbView 3 satellite malfunctions
Posted: Sat, Mar 10, 2007, 7:27 AM ET (1227 GMT)
The commercial remote sensing satellite OrbView 3 has not been able to create usable imagery for several days, GeoEye announced this week. In a regulatory filing with the SEC dated March 8, GeoEye officials said that the OrbView 3 satellite is suffering from problems with the electronics on its camera that have prevented it from taking usable imagery since March 4. The filing said there was not yet enough information to determine what, if anything, can be done to restore the instrument, nor how long the process will take. GeoEye, created last year when ORBIMAGE merged with Space Imaging, said it will use its Ikonos satellite to satisfy customer imaging needs while the investigation into OrbView 3 continues. The spacecraft, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation with a camera provided by Northrop Grumman, was launched in 2003 and was designed to last at least five years. A new spacecraft, GeoEye 1, is scheduled for launch later this year; it will be capable of taking higher-resolution images than either OrbView 3 or Ikonos.
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