The First HD Video of Earth From Space—That You Can Buy

The Atlantic

Check out the video below. It’s high-resolution video taken from space, images of places like Tokyo, Las Vegas, a mine in Australia, and a power plant in Maryland:

It’s the first imagery of its kind available to the public. 

It was released today by Skybox, a San Francisco startup that plans to send 24 satellites into space. This video was taken by its first satellite, SkySat-1, which launched in November; the company says it will send another into space by the end of March 2014.

High-resolution video from space is only likely to become more popular over the next decade. I’ll write about this more soon, but other startups plan to offer it. Vancouver’s UrtheCast, for example, will mount both a still and video camera onto the International Space Station.

What’s interesting about Skybox’s video, beyond its “whoa!” factor? It looks like it has a resolution of about one meter, or three feet. That’s enough to see cars and trucks, but not to discern individual human bodies.

Skybox’s larger goal is to sell what it can analyze about the global economy to companies, so that resolution makes sense. It can parse weather patterns and traffic conditions, but not individuals.

Besides, are you worried about satellites seeing moving individuals from space? Skybox’s satellites were built from ordinary hardware supplies, and they can capture only 90-second clips at 30 frames per second. It’s highly likely that the U.S. government’s, backed with millions of dollars and military-grade supplies, have long been able to do better.

And what satellites can’t see, drones can.





More From The Atlantic

Rates

View Comments (0)

Recommended for You

  • Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

    Associated Press
  • ARGENTINE STOCKS CRASH

    Argentina's stock market is tanking after the...

    Business Insider
  • Why you should refinance your home NOW

    A bailout for the middle class. HARP is saving American homeowners tons of money on their monthly mortgage payments. See if you are eligible!

    AdChoicesLendingTreeSponsored
  • Airbus adamant no room for more talks in cancelled Japan jet deal

    Airbus on Thursday said its decision to cancel a $2.2 billion jet order from Skymark Airlines was final, rejecting the Japanese carrier's suggestion that talks were still ongoing. The European aircraft maker said this week it had informed Skymark that its purchase of six A380 superjumbos "has been…

    AFP
  • In San Francisco real estate, $1M won't buy much

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Association of Realtors President Betty Taisch has two words of advice for those who want to live here and think $1 million will buy them their dream house: Think again.

    Associated Press
  • Tesla posts 2Q loss, prepares Nevada factory site

    PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors widened its loss in the second quarter as it prepared for the launch of a new SUV and started work on a massive new battery plant.

    Associated Press
  • Play

    Why Do Millennials Prefer Cash to Investing Money?

    In the last year, the S&P 500 delivered 17% and cash investments delivered 1%. Which would you rather have? In a Bankrate study, millennials said they'd rather have the cash. The Mutual Fund Store's Senior Vice President of Investments Andy Smith joins Simon Constable on the News Hub to discuss.…

    WSJ Live
  • Asia stocks dip on Dow drop, China data cuts loss

    Most Asian stock markets dipped on Friday following a big sell-off on Wall Street but losses were limited by optimistic reports on China's economy. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped ...

    Associated Press14 mins ago
  • US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday warned Americans not to travel to the three West African countries hit by an outbreak of Ebola.

    Associated Press
  • Get more listings

    Tried every way to get more listings? Here are 10 client capturing secrets revealed.

    AdChoicesZillowSponsored
  • 4 Unusual Savings Strategies That Really Work

    It's just one of those facts of life: Saving money can be really hard. If you're trying to save and not getting ahead, it might be time to try one of these easy, everyday savings habits that will help you tighten your finances.

    U.S.News & World Report LP
  • What SunPower Earnings Mean for First Solar and SolarCity

    After markets close Thursday, solar panel maker SunPower will report second-quarter results. Competitors First Solar and SolarCity are scheduled to report results next week.

    24/7 Wall St.
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The fight over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's signature policy achievement, a law effectively ending collective bargaining for most public employees, ended Thursday with the state Supreme Court declaring it to be constitutional.

    Associated Press
  • Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

    MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. and European sanctions against Russia's energy and finance sectors are strong enough to cause deep, long-lasting damage within months unless Moscow persuades the West to repeal them by withdrawing support for Ukrainian insurgents.

    Associated Press
  • Adidas shares plunge 13% after Russia warning

    Adidas shares tanked more than 13 percent after it cut its profit targets for 2014, warning "tensions" in Russia would hit its bottom line.

    CNBC
  • Why You Should Prepare for the Next Bear Market Now

    The stock market is going gangbusters these days, with the S&P 500 close to surpassing 2,000 points. While the index may never fall back to that level, bear markets will one day hit us hard again. It's a good idea to develop a plan for the next bear market now, while your asset values aren't free…

    U.S.News & World Report LP
  • New Prostate Aid Takes CVS by Storm

    Are you sick and tired of frequent bathrooms trips that wake you up at night and dominate your day? There's a new product that helps.

    AdChoicesPeak LifeSponsored
  • Play

    Tesla's Earnings: What to Watch For

    Electric-car maker Tesla is scheduled to be released after the bell Thursday, and Mike Ramsey joins MoneyBeat with Paul Vigna to preview the results.

    WSJ Live
  • Bank of America ordered to pay $1.27 billion for 'Hustle' fraud

    By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Bank of America Corp to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for fraud over shoddy mortgages sold by the former Countrywide Financial Corp. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ruled after a jury last October found the…

    Reuters
  • Panasonic, Tesla to build giant battery plant in US

    Japanese electronics giant Panasonic and US electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors said Thursday they will jointly build and operate a huge lithium ion battery plant known as the Gigafactory. Under the deal, Tesla will run the operations at the proposed US-based plant, while its Japanese partner will…

    AFP
  • 5 Little-Known Ways to Boost Your Retirement Savings

    Saving for retirement is no easy task. Fortunately, we have several tools and strategies that can help us reach our retirement goals. Maintain your asset allocation. When you begin investing you typically select an asset allocation that suits your risk tolerance and investment goals.

    U.S.News & World Report LP
  • Alcatel-Lucent cuts losses but shares slump

    Telecommunication equipment group Alcatel-Lucent said Thursday it cut net losses by more than half in the second quarter as it battles to rebuild after years of setbacks. Alcatel-Lucent said its quarterly net loss was 298 million euros ($399 million), down from 885 million euros for the same period…

    AFP
  • Can a Repair Shop I Didn't Use Send Me to Collections?

    Are you obligated to pay for car parts that a repair shop ordered after they gave you an estimate? And can they send you to a debt collector if you don't pay?

    Credit.com
  • Tycoon Worth $62.9 Billion Shares Money Secret

    This billionaire investing wizard has a dead-simple system for making money you can start using today.

    AdChoicesThe Motley FoolSponsored