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Early Bird


Designation 25123 / 97085A
Launch date 24 Dec 1997
Country of origin United States
Mission Remote Sensing
Perigee/Apogee 470 km, sun-synchronous
Inclination 97.3°
Period revisit time: 2 to 5 days
Launch vehicle Start 1
Launch site Svobodny

US satellite operated by Earth Watch Inc. The cost of the system is approx. $200 million. Launch cost is said to be $7 million

Five days after launch the satellite went silent, with no communications. This was the consequence of an electrical problem. Insurers paid $29 million for the loss.

External resources


sat-index articles

End of life

Decay 27 Jul 2000

Technical data


Prime contractor CTA Space Systems
Mass at launch 317 kg
Payload mass  
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime 5 years

On-board data storage: 2 GByte
Gimbaled-mirror pointing system for ± 30° in-track and ± 28° side-to-side pointing capability

Panchromatic Sensor

Wavebands 445-650 nm
Swath width 280 km
Resolution 3 m, image size: 3 km x 3 km

Multispectral Sensor

Wavebands Green: 490-600 nm
Red: 615-670 nm
Near IR: 790-875 nm
Swath width 280 km
Resolution 15 m, image size: 15 km x 15 km

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