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I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read your mind

Google just bought out skybox for $500MN. Skybox is a startup with grand amibitions: create cheap satellites which can be used to provide almost real time-time, sub one meter resolution imagery of earth. Even with six small satellites orbiting Earth, Skybox could provide practically real-time images of the same spot twice a day at a fraction of the current cost. The startup sent up its first satellite SkySat-1 last November. The satellite can provide HD images and videos (90 sec clips at 30 frames/second) The start-up hopes to combine its satellites with software which can analyze the visual data to collect information. It hopes that it can use its combination of hardware and software capabilities to gather real time information to estimate oil reserves in saudi Arabia, track fuel tankers in China's 3 main economic zones, rate of increase of electricity usage in India, number of cars in all wallmart parking lots. [more inside]
posted by TheLittlePrince on Jun 12, 2014 - 100 comments

Skybox - satellite imaging startup

"Inside a Startup's Plan to Turn a Swarm of DIY Satellites Into an All-Seeing Eye" - Wired on Skybox Imaging. [more inside]
posted by peacay on Jul 1, 2013 - 14 comments

Do you want to know a secret?

If you met Phil Pressel at a party anytime over the past half-century, he couldn't tell you what he did for a living. If you were his wife, you didn't even know where he was staying on those mysterious business trips. Today, after 46 years, the man who made the camera that prevented a war finally got to show off his magnum opus.
posted by Spike on Oct 14, 2011 - 37 comments

Space Stasis

Space Stasis - What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation. By Neal Stephenson.
posted by 00dimitri00 on Feb 2, 2011 - 38 comments

No ham radio for old men...

Amateur radio gets stick for being home to a lot of reactionary weird old buffers. How true. Many are put off by this. And that's a crying shame... [more inside]
posted by Devonian on Jan 29, 2011 - 61 comments

Earth as Art

Wired has selected a few of their favourite "enhanced" images of Earth taken by the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 17, 2010 - 24 comments

The Whole Earth Photolog

From grainy stills to gorgeous high-resolution portraits, from intimate pairings to stark contrasts, and from old standbys to little-known surprises, The Planetary Society's Earth galleries offer a rich collection of stunning photography and video footage of our world as seen from both planetary spacecraft and geostationary satellites. It is a vista that has inspired many a deep thought in the lucky few that have seen it firsthand [previously]. Oh, and the rest of the Solar System is pretty neat, too.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 3, 2008 - 9 comments

No way, baby. I promise no one's watching.

Geographer Trevor Paglen, who researches the so-called "black world" of the military (previously: secret military patches, setec astronomy, tracing unmarked military planes, Torture Taxi), is curating a collection of his photos of classified satellite activity, The Other Night Sky, now at the Berkeley Art Museum. He's identified 189 such satellites.
posted by liketitanic on Aug 19, 2008 - 5 comments

World Where's Waldo

NPR article on World Where's Waldo Link to the website A Canadian woman made a giant waldo and put it on top of her house and is waiting for the google earth satellites to pick him up.
posted by majikstreet on Apr 16, 2008 - 14 comments

The window, the window, throw it out the window...

Fancy way to build a satellite -- spend millions of dollars hiring engineers to carefully construct your orbital gem, then millions more on a massive rocket to loft it into space. BORING. Easy way to build a satellite -- shove a radio into a spacesuit and toss it off a space station. Meet SuitSat 1.
posted by eriko on Jan 26, 2006 - 32 comments

EU weather satelite unit

accurate weather forecasts...yes... Add your own sound effects.
posted by longsleeves on Dec 22, 2005 - 6 comments

Twinkle, twinkle little GPS BIIA-12...

J-Track 3D is an interesting JAVA web-app offered by NASA which gives a 3D interactive display of over 500 satellites currently orbiting the Earth.
posted by numlok on Feb 16, 2005 - 8 comments

Heavens to Murgatroid

Heavens Above! This is a pretty neat website for anybody interested in astronomy. Give it your location (City names work, even my white bread red-neck plains town did) and it'll give you star maps, fly by times and viewing instructions for satellites and so on.
posted by substrate on Sep 10, 2004 - 6 comments

Sea Launch

Sea Launch successfully put a 5-ton television satellite into orbit yesterday from a 400-foot long mobile platform in the central Pacific Ocean. It was the 12th successful launch for the firm (run by a consortium that includes Boeing and Energia), with the equatorial position in the mid-Pacific allowing the rocket to carry a heavier payload to orbit with less fuel.

Slowly but surely, spaceflight is becoming commercialized even as the U.S. has renewed efforts to militarize it.
posted by QuestionableSwami on May 4, 2004 - 12 comments

Hey!! Down Here!!

TerraServer USA. Can you find your own house? I drove myself mad looking, until I finally resorted to using the address finder. I can see my road, but I can't make out which house is mine. Can you find your home, or even your neighborhhod, in a satellite photo of the country?
posted by archimago on Aug 29, 2003 - 18 comments

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Project

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Project is an unmatched international effort that pools top-notch technical talent from MIT, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The mission is nothing short of groundbreaking. The plan is to build a spacecraft capable of housing a small crew of mice, including pregnant females, which will simulate the gravity of Mars to determine its effects on mammalian development.
posted by David Dark on Sep 18, 2002 - 9 comments

The Envisat satellite

The Envisat satellite has begun returning the first results from its "check-up" of the earth.
posted by homunculus on Mar 29, 2002 - 3 comments

The Global Positioning System is now commonly used for navigation in hundreds of ways worldwide. Some very innovative things are now being done with the system beyond simply finding out where you are. However, according to this BBC story, "emerging applications are being hampered by concerns that information from the global satellite network, which is run by the United States, could be switched off or restricted in the event of a security threat." Am I the only one worried about what will happen to all the hikers, rescue services, ships, small planes and geeks that would suffer if the network is switched off?
posted by Gamecat on Mar 16, 2002 - 12 comments

Keo Satellite to Carry Messages to Earth's Future

Keo Satellite to Carry Messages to Earth's Future A nonprofit French group hopes to launch a satellite on a 50,000-year spin around Earth next year, loading it with as many as 6 billion messages from humans eager to give the far-flung future a glimpse of the present.
posted by Tarrama on Feb 23, 2002 - 6 comments

New Gravity Map released.

New Gravity Map released. The Grace satellites have sent back the first monthly installment of five years' worth of gravity mapping data. [145K jpg] The upshot? Move to India - you'll weigh 1% less.
posted by gleuschk on Nov 21, 2001 - 15 comments

Russia no longer has any photo-recon satellites in orbit and doesn't seem to care, New Zealand is disbanding its air force's air combat capabilities, and America is pushing for a Missile Defense Shield - Star Wars II. Make what you will of American military policies, I am just weirded out that someone out there in the targeted banner-ad world thinks I am in the market to buy a submarine.
posted by tamim on May 17, 2001 - 9 comments

See? Y'all sent me off to TVTechnology, and I found something interesting... Remember a couple years ago -- The Day The Pagers Died? They died because Galaxy 4 fell over, which in turn was because its Satellite Control Processors broke.

Both of them. 4 other birds are down one processor; a total of 25 are in danger -- all built on the Hughes HM-601 satellite 'bus'. What is it we always say about genetic diversity being good? Wouldn't you hate to be the engineer on the hook for *this* 12 billion dollars?
posted by baylink on Jan 29, 2001 - 7 comments

I wonder what the criteria are for screening clients for this type of data?

I wonder what the criteria are for screening clients for this type of data? "The Ikonos high-resolution satellite technology is ideally suited to meet the current and future high-resolution needs of the Turkish Government," said Ed Irvin, director of commercial remote sensing programs for Lockheed Martin.
posted by rushmc on Dec 4, 2000 - 2 comments

MSNBC's Robert Wright seemes confused

MSNBC's Robert Wright seemes confused in this story about the Global Positioning System. He misinforms the reader about how terrorists can now use the military's encrypted GPS signals for more accurate positioning. (FYI: you are still unable to use the military's encrypted GPS signals, contrary to what Wright claims.)
more inside>>
posted by darainwa on Jun 28, 2000 - 2 comments

Satellite Tracking -

Satellite Tracking - NASA keeps adding great resources online. The JTrack 3d applet lets you track every satellite in orbit (as a 3d model). ...and we've all seen the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Just goes to show that faster, cheaper, better isn't the only thing they are working on.
posted by jamescblack on May 4, 2000 - 1 comment

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