Virginia, US: GeoEye has selected Lockheed Martin (LM) Space Systems to build GeoEye-2, the company’s next-generation, high-resolution Earth-imaging satellite system. Lockheed has already begun purchasing long-lead material and labour for the design, engineering and manufacturing of the satellite and the associated command and control system.
Matt O’Connell, GeoEye’s chief executive officer and president, said, “We chose Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to build GeoEye-2 to ensure high confidence in mission success. They have a 50-year heritage of building imaging systems for the US Government and have built several hundred Earth-imaging satellites—more than anyone else.”
Bill Schuster, GeoEye’s chief operating officer, said, “GeoEye-2 will be the same class of satellite as GeoEye-1 but will benefit from significant improvements in capabilities to better serve our customers’ demands for increased quantities of imagery at higher resolution. Some of these improvements include enhanced tasking capabilities and the ability to collect more imagery at a faster rate.”
Lockheed Martin built GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite. Launched in 1999, IKONOS has exceeded 10 years of successful on-orbit operations. It continues to provide high-resolution imagery of the Earth to GeoEye’s commercial and government customers around the world. “The IKONOS satellite, which continues to perform with outstanding results for GeoEye, ushered in the first generation of commercial high-resolution space imaging systems and we look forward to building a third-generation satellite that will provide even greater remote sensing capabilities for GeoEye’s customers,” said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
In October 2007, GeoEye had already announced that it had contracted with ITT Corporation’s Geospatial Systems Division to begin advance work on the camera for GeoEye-2.