End of an Era – QuickBird’s Final Image

Image Credit: DigitalGlobe

Image Credit: DigitalGlobe

February 17, 2015 – On January 27, 2015, one of DigitalGlobe’s oldest and most historically significant imaging satellites re-entered Earth’s atmosphere after completing its 13-year mission on orbit. QuickBird made more than 70,000 trips around the planet, capturing some 636 million square kilometers of high-resolution earth imagery that contributed to humanity’s understanding of our changing planet.

In its final orbit before its imager was turned off, QuickBird captured this stunning view of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on December 17, 2014. The satellite’s orbit had decayed to approximately 300 kilometers, resulting in an image with incredible ground resolution of 41 cm.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. developed QuickBird, which was the highest resolution commercial satellite at the time, as well as DigitalGlobe’s subsequent WorldView-1, WorldView-2, and WorldView-3 satellites.

QuickBird played a key role in the establishment of the commercial remote sensing industry and helped pave the way for what is now the world’s most capable imaging satellite constellation. QuickBird imagery dating back to 2002 will remain available in DigitalGlobe’s imagery catalog.