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Atlas 5 launches WorldView-3
Posted: Wed, Aug 13, 2014, 7:50 PM ET (2350 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of WorldView-3 (ULA) An Atlas 5 rocket successfully launched the most powerful commercial remote sensing satellite to date on Wednesday. The Atlas 5 401 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 2:30 pm EDT (1830 GMT) Wednesday, releasing the 2,800-kilogram WorldView-3 satellite into a Sun-synchronous orbit. The spacecraft, built by Ball Aerospace for DigitalGlobe, will be capable of producing images with resolutions as sharp as 31 centimeters; a change in national remote sensing policy will allow the company to sell imagery that sharp, after previously setting a resolution limit of 50 centimeters. the spacecraft is also equipped with shortwave infrared sensors that can take images through smoke and haze. The launch was a rare commercial mission for the Atlas 5, which primarily serves civil and military government customers.
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