Storm Delays Satellite Launch

Inclement weather on the US East Coast has pushed back this week’s launch of the GeoEye-1 commercial imagery satellite on the West Coast by at least several days, GeoEye, Inc., announced Tuesday. Although the satellite is sitting atop its Delta II launch vehicle at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and is ready to go, Tropical Storm Hanna has played havoc with the ability of contractor launch technicians at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., to fly to Vandenberg, the company said. Originally scheduled for Sept. 4, the company said liftoff will now occur no sooner than Sept. 7; it will announce the new date as soon as it is confirmed. GeoEye-1 will be the highest resolution commercial imagery satellite to date to go into orbit, with the ability to make out objects as small as 0.41 meters (16 inches) in size in its panchromatic mode. The company already operates the Ikonos and OrbView-2 imagery satellites, imagery from which the US military, Intelligence Community, and homeland security establishment make extensive use.