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News

Earth Observation Satellite Still Operating After Exceeding Design Life


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ATK
: 23 November, 2010  (Application Story)
The EO-1 satellite supplied by ATK and operated by NASA has reached the 10 year operational milestone while still performing reliably after its design life has been reached and exceeded
ATK and NASA are marking the 10-year anniversary of NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. The spacecraft, built by ATK for the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, had an initial design and mission life of one year, but continues operating today, more than nine years past the initial mission.

The EO-1 satellite launched on November 21, 2000. ATK served as the Prime Contractor, Satellite Mission Integrator and Bus Developer for the mission. The EO-1 project developed and validated a number of instrument and spacecraft bus breakthrough technologies designed to enable the development of future earth imaging observatories.

'Once again, ATK-built satellites have exceeded expectations with an unmatched record of performance and reliability. From the extended mission of TacSat-3 to the new groundbreaking lunar mission for our two THEMIS probes, and now a significant 10-year milestone for EO-1, ATK has a proven track record of success in small satellite technology,' said Tom Wilson, vice president and general manager, ATK Spacecraft Systems and Services. 'We are proud to mark this historic occasion with our NASA partners and celebrate the fact that EO-1 has far outlived its design life. The successful on-orbit performance of EO-1 can be attributed to ATK's dedicated and talented engineering staff.'

Dr Stephen Ungar, NASA EO-1 mission scientist said, 'Although the two major EO-1 observing instruments, Advanced Land Imager (ALI) and Hyperion imaging spectrometer, have performed flawlessly over the past decade, the stunning success of the EO-1 mission is due largely to the unprecedented flexibility and unfaltering operation of the spacecraft bus provided to NASA by ATK. This bus continues to provide an agile and reliable platform for developing and testing new and innovative strategies, exploiting the twenty-first century observing instruments and supporting technologies constituting the EO-1 mission.'

EO-1 has acquired over 100,000 images to date, consisting of equal amounts of multispectral and hyperspectral imagery. EO-1 science data and research has spawned well over 430 related publications. EO-1 is currently being used as part of a sensor web that allows autonomous observing of earth images. The spacecraft mission has also performed nontraditional earth observation activities such as the monitoring of brush fires, assessing post-hurricane damage and monitoring active volcanic eruptions using both multispectral and hyperspectral imaging.
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