EU wants U.S. NGA-type high-resolution satellite contract vehicle

by Peter B. de Selding

Airbus and the French Defense Ministry share access to the two Pleaides high-resolution optical satellites, whose native 70-centimeter ground sampling distance can be sharpened to 50 centimeters through resampling. Airbus's main competitor, DigitalGlobe of the United States, is selling 30-centimeter imagery. Airbus is spending more than $540 million on four 30-centimeter-resolution satellites to launch in 2020 or 2021. The European Commission may turn out to be a prime customer. The Pleiades image above shows a riding club in Pyongyang, North Korea. Credit: CNES/Airbus

 BRUSSELS — The European Commission, moving more sure-footedly into the . . .

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