The life and death of Ikonos, a pioneering commercial satellite

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The commercial satellite industry is in something of a boom time right now, with everyone from Elon Musk to Google planning to launch spacecraft of varying sizes into Earth’s orbit, and eventually, beyond. Today, people all over the planet can see photos and even HD video of Earth from above with the click of a button on a computer or phone

But this wasn’t always the case

Before Ikonos, a satellite from the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe, flew to space in September 1999, only a small number of people around the world were able to see high-quality images of Earth taken by spacecraft, according to Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe’s chief technology officer said. Read more…

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