The SPOT-5 Earth observation satellite was successfully placed into orbit by an Ariane 4 from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou during the night of 3 to 4 May 2002.
The VEGETATION 2 passenger instrument on SPOT-5 also provides continuity of environmental monitoring around the globe, like its predecessor on SPOT-4.
SPOT Image Corporation is composed of four subsidiaries, including an office in Germany and a dense global network of receiving stations, channel partners, and distributors. Satellite Imaging Corporation is an official distributor for SPOT Image Corporation.
Compared to its predecessors, SPOT-5 offers greatly enhanced capabilities, which provide additional cost-effective imaging solutions. Thanks to SPOT-5's improved 5-metre and 2.5-metre resolution and wide imaging swath, which covers 60 x 60 km or 60 km x 120 km in twin-instrument mode, the SPOT-5 satellite provides an ideal balance between high resolution and wide-area coverage. The coverage offered by SPOT-5 is a key asset for applications such as medium-scale mapping (at 1:25 000 and 1:10 000 locally), urban and rural planning, oil and gas exploration, and natural disaster management. SPOT-5's other key feature is the unprecedented acquisition capability of the on-board HRS stereo viewing instrument, which can cover vast areas in a single pass. Stereo pair imagery is vital for applications that call for 3D terrain modeling and computer environments, such as flight simulator databases, pipeline corridors, and mobile phone network planning.