Nov 11 2016

Finally, A Successful Launch for WorldView-4

After a nearly 2 month delay, the Worldview 4 satellite successfully launched today into a sun-synchronous polar orbit. Worldview 4 is an Earth Imaging satellite owned by Digital Globe, which will provide nearly double the imaging resolution currently available in non-military satellite imagery.

This was a mission made up of delays, it would seem:  A company merger (the satellite was originally named “GeoEye-2” until Digital Globe purchased Geoeye in 2012), launch order changes due to the different capabilities of it and it’s Worldview-3 sister satellite, and finally, back in September, liquid hydrogen leaks and wildfires outside of Vandenburg Air Force Base causing delay after delay. In October and early November, repairs to nearby infrastructure damaged by the fire, and lastly, some repairs were made to the booster itself.



Finally, today, 2 months later, the satellite has been launched into orbit. The entire time the booster, and spacecraft, stayed on the pad, sheltered in the mobile service structure, while the fire raged nearby. This goes to show how good a shelter the payload fairing of a space booster can be.

Lastly, the Centaur stage of the Atlas V booster that launched Worldview-4 deployed some small cubesats. Nothing spectacular but worth noting!

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