DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SPOT satellites. Artwork of the four of the five SPOT (Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre) earth observation satellites in Earth orbit, with the Moon at lower left. From left to right, with their years of operation or launch, they are SPOT 1 (1986-2003), SPOT 2 (1990-2009), SPOT 4 (1998), and SPOT 5 (2002). SPOT 3 (1993-1996) is not shown. As of 2011, SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 are still operational, in polar orbits at an altitude of 832 kilometres. The SPOT satellites were launched by the European Space Agency, and are operated by a company created by the French space agency (CNES). Future planned additions are SPOT 6 and SPOT 7.
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