Friday, December 21, 2007

Ikonos Satellite gets $20 million of insurance

GeoEye, Inc. said it has secured $20 million of insurance on its Ikonos satellite for 2008 with terms comparable to those it had for 2007.

According to GeoEye, the insurance was facilitated by a new analysis, performed by Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), on the life expectancy of its Ikonos high-resolution Earth-imaging satellite. The company now estimates that Ikonos may continue to meet mission requirements into the next decade.

The satellite was built and launched into a low Earth orbit by Lockheed Martin in 1999. At the time of launch it was estimated that the satellite would be operational for a period of five to seven years.

Later, based on operational data, it was estimated that Ikonos would remain operational until the mid-2008 timeframe. However, this new study resulted in an estimated life expectancy into the 2010 timeframe.

GeoEye said that, while other unknown factors could cause Ikonos to cease functioning, there is enough fuel on board to last an additional eight years and that the satellite's batteries "are performing well."

Dulles, Virginia-based GeoEye is a provider of geospatial information, imagery and solutions for the national security community, strategic partners, resellers and commercial customers. The company operates a constellation of Earth imaging satellites, mapping aircraft and has an international network of ground stations, an imagery archive, and advanced geospatial imagery processing capabilities.


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