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Space Com Olympics

Olympian Views: Even Better Than Zeus' Skybox

By Andrew Bridges
Pasadena Bureau Chief
posted: 03:34 pm ET 
15 September 2000      Image Glut Threatens Space Archivists 

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Too late to catch the Sydney Games from Olympic ringside seats? 

Flying Over Down Under 
Downtown Sydney and the Olympic Village are all revealed in sharp 1-meter 
detail in these orbital photos. See if you can spot the Sydney Opera House -- 
or the Russian Buran space shuttle! Go to www.space.com/olympics/ 

Then take a high jump - a real high jump - into space for the next-best view 
of the 2000 summer Olympic Games, which kicked off Friday "Down Under" in 

Thanks to the sharpshooting camera on Space Imaging Inc.’s IKONOS satellite, 
SPACE.com is featuring an interactive view of the 27th Olympiad from in orbit.

Using Xippix ImagePump Viewer technology, the feature allows viewers to bob 
and weave like a true pugilist, using high-resolution satellite images to 
zoom in and out over the entire Olympic village.

The IKONOS satellite, fast approaching its first anniversary in orbit, uses 
its 3-foot (1-meter) resolution camera to create detailed images bested - by 
a nose at most - only by government spy satellites.

The satellite zips around Earth at a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) -a-second clip 
that would put even speedster Marion Jones to shame. And it does so from an 
altitude equivalent to the length of 16 full marathons.

Although the images won’t reveal glimpses of your favorite athletes - they 
were snapped back in July - you can use them to peer down on all the games’ 
venues, including Olympic Stadium, where Australian dynamo Cathy Freeman put 
torch to cauldron during Friday’s opening ceremony.

Commercially available satellite pictures represent a nascent, yet 
burgeoning, multibillion-dollar business.

By 2003, nearly a dozen companies in five countries will have 
high-resolution, remote-sensing cameras in orbit that are of spy-satellite 
quality, experts predict.



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