Some companies seem to have luck and other on the contrary. DigitalGlobe WorldView-2 satellite survived direct contact with space debris without even single scratch so it should be rather considered as ultimately lucky!

According to Joint Space Operations Center, WorldView-2 Earth imaging satellite operated by DigitalGlobe survived hitting by several pieces of space debris. On 19 July JSpOC announced on their Twitter profile:

“JSpOC ID’d debris causing event related to @DigitalGlobe WorldView-2; 8 debris pieces but WV2 confirmed operational & maneuverable!”

WV-2 remains on almost perfectly circular orbit on altitude of 770 km (772 km x 773 km) with inclination at 98.40° since launch  on October 8, 2009 (on atop of Delta II rocket from Vandenberg AFS); it was hit on July 19 probably at morning hours. JSpOC also confirmed that satellite is still operating correctly and nothing points that direct hit destroy any crucial subsystem of the satellite. It is great luck for DigitalGlobe – direct hit by eight pieces of debris could potentially destroy any satellite.

It is not last lucky news from DigitalGlobe; Company announced on the same day about signing agreement with Uber Technologies Inc. It covers providing digital images for Uber, which will utilize them for creating maps of the cities, where company is offering their innovative transportation services. Company would like to improve quality of offered services and use most accurate maps to reduce time of service and costs. In future, Uber plans to resign from using ordinary cars and switch to vehicles operated with autopilot. Good quality pictures of cities with details like road signs, characteristic points and lanes surely will help human drive cabs today and robotic vehicles in future. It is worth to mention that it is second big step of Uber into world of Earth imaging and navigational services after acquiring from Microsoft team responsible for creating maps for Bing.

WV-2 is large imaging satellite with weight at 2800 kg and based on BCP-5000 bus made by Ball Aerospace. It was designed to last for 7.25 years. It is long for 4.3 m, wide for 2.5 m with 7.1 m of span after extending solar arrays. It is operating with 0.46 m resolution in panchromatic mode and 1.86 m in multispectral mode. It is possible thanks to 110 cm aperture telescope combined with high resolution CMOS imaging unit with dynamic range at 11 bits by pixel. Satellite is able to provide high resolution picture of any place on Earth under 26 hours with swath width of 16.4 km. Satellite is powered by lithium onboard battery (with capacity of 100 Ah) and two deployable solar arrays which are providing 3200 W of power. Satellite is using 3-axis stabilizing system basing on Control Moment Gyros, Sensors Star trackers and solid state IRU. To evaluating position it is utilizing GPS system with 500 m accuracy. It is equipped with mass storage system able to store 2199 Gbits on solid state memory-it gives ability for storing data collected during flight for 5 orbits (524 Gbits per single full Earth orbit); data are downlinked on X band with speed up to 32 kbps in real time or 524 kbps during transmitting material recorded before. For operating satellite S band transponder is used.