DigitalGlobe’s WorldView 4 Earth-imaging satellite fails


Published on 14 January 2019

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView 4 commercial Earth observation satellite, which launched in 2016 for a planned 10-to-12-year mission, has suffered a failure in its control moment gyros and is no longer able to acquire high-resolution imagery, officials announced on January 7th 2019.

Maxar Technologies, DigitalGlobe’s parent company, said in a press release that the WorldView 4 spacecraft has lost an axis of stability due to the failure in the gyro system, which governs the satellite’s pointing, a requirement for aiming its telescope and camera toward targets on the ground.

“Efforts are ongoing in conjunction with its suppliers in an attempt to restore satellite functionality, but thus far these efforts have been unsuccessful,” Maxar said in a statement. “At this time, Maxar believes that WorldView 4 will likely not be recoverable and will no longer produce usable imagery.

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