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SPOT celebrates three decades of success and innovation

By [email protected] - 23rd March 2016 - 12:47

Since the SPOT 1 launch thirty years ago, SPOT satellites have covered the land area of the Earth more than 700 times, setting a world record for spatial observation. On 22 February 1986, a unique success story began: Europe’s first Earth observation satellite, SPOT 1, lifted off from Kourou on board an Ariane 1 launcher. It opened the door to three decades of major technological innovations and a host of new applications. SPOT 1 was equipped with steerable mirrors, enabling it to look to the right and left of its path, unlike other earth observation satellites during that time. Thanks to this first technological revolution, it was able to observe a given site every 5 days and measure the elevation of the terrain. It acquired images with a resolution of 10 m for a footprint of 60 km, that was unique and one that has been retained by its successors.