||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2009)|
On December 1, 2004, General Dynamics C4 Systems announced it had been awarded a contract worth approximately $209 million to build the OrbView-5 satellite. Its sensor is designed by the ITT Exelis.
The satellite, now known as GeoEye-1, was originally scheduled for April 2008 but lost its 30-day launch slot to a U.S. government mission which had been delayed. It was rescheduled for launch August 22, 2008 from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Delta II launch vehicle. The launch was postponed to September 4, 2008, due to unavailability of the Big Crow telemetry-relay aircraft. It was delayed again to September 6 because Hurricane Hanna interfered with its launch crews.
The launch took place successfully on September 6, 2008 at 11:50:57 a.m. PDT (18:50:57 UTC). The GeoEye-1 satellite separated successfully from its Delta II launch vehicle at 12:49 p.m. PDT (19:49 UTC), 58 minutes and 56 seconds after launch.
Specifications and operation 
|Mass at launch||1,955 kg (4,310 lb)|
|Bus mass||1,260 kg (2,800 lb)|
|Solar panels||GaAs, 3862W at the end of the life.|
|Data Downlink||150 or 740 Mbit/s, X-Band.|
|Aperture||1.1 m (3.6 ft)|
|Focal length||13.3 m (44 ft)|
|Field of View||more than 1.28°|
|Design lifetime||7 years in orbit, fully redundant.|
GeoEye-1 provides 0.41 m (16 in) panchromatic and 1.65 m (5.4 ft) multispectral imagery in 15.2 km (9.4 mi) swaths. The spacecraft is intended for a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 681 km (423 mi) and an inclination of 98 degrees, with a 10:30 a.m. equator crossing time. GeoEye-1 can image up to 60 degrees off nadir. It is operated out of Dulles, Virginia.
At the time of its launch, GeoEye-1 was the world’s highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite. GeoEye-1 was manufactured in Gilbert, Arizona by General Dynamics and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The first image was returned on October 7, of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
Google, which has its logo on the side of the rocket, has exclusive online mapping use of its data. While GeoEye-1 is capable of imagery with details the size of 41 cm (16 in), that resolution will only be available to the US government. Google will have access to details of 50 cm (20 in). Prior maximum commercial imagery was 60 centimetres (24 in).
2009 Anomaly 
In December 2009 GeoEye announced it had suspended imagery collections by GeoEye-1 for a few days, citing an irregularity in the downlink antenna. "The irregularity appears to limit the range of movement of GeoEye-1's downlink antenna, which may in turn affect GeoEye-1's ability to image and downlink simultaneously," GeoEye said.
See also 
- "General Dynamics to Build Satellite to Improve U.S. Government Access to High-Resolution Earth Imagery". GD.
- "GeoEye-1 Launch Details". GeoEye.
- Restatement Pulls GeoEye's Goals Back Down to Earth
- Justin Ray. "Delta 2 rocket launch of GeoEye craft postponed". Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- Justin Ray. "Delta 2-335 Mission Status Center". Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- "GeoEye-1 Launch Continues On Track". Seeking Alpha. 2008-07-11.
- "Google's Super Satellite Captures First Image". Wired. 2008-10-07.
- Google to buy GeoEye satellite imagery -cnet.com - August 29, 2008
- "GeoEye says satellite glitch could hit 2010 revenue". Reuters. Dec 17, 2009.
- GeoEye-1 launch webpage
- ImageSearch - Search for GeoEye satellite imagery online
- Gallery - GeoEye Image Gallery