The IKONOS imaging satellite made by Lockheed Martin for DigitalGlobe has been retired after nearly two decades of gathering and sharing more than 400 square kilometres of images of the Earth's surface.
The satellite, launched in September 1999, concluded its operation on March 31 after 15 years of collecting high-resolution images used in mapping, agriculture, national security and disaster recovery operations, Lockheed said Thursday.
“Over the last 15 years IKONOS captured the moments of both triumph and tragedy that have shaped our world,“ said Mike Hamel, vice president and general manager of Lockheed’s commercial space business.
“Its high resolution images have helped make everyone from first responders and farmers to city planners and surveyors more effective and informed.“
Aerial views of Olympic villages and downtown Manhattan, New York after the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks are among the famous images captured by IKONOS.
DigitalGlobe has commissioned Lockheed to build another imaging satellite, dubbed WorldView-4, that is set to be introduced in 2016.