Posted on April 22, 2009
Real-time views of planet from world's first Earth-directed camera mounted on a commercial communications satellite DISH Network Corporation today announced the launch of DISH Earth, a channel exclusively available to DISH Network customers, offering dramatic live views of Earth 24 hours per day, including passing views of the moon, Venus, and even unidentified flying objects. DISH Network customers can experience the camera's live feed for free on Ch. 212 beginning this evening.The DISH Earth channel content is supported by a camera installed on DISH Network's EchoStar 11 satellite - the world's first Earth-directed camera mounted on a commercial communications satellite. Six years in the making, the DISH Earth camera offers a 30 degree x 22.4 degree field-of-view that includes fascinating live full-disk views of the planet from a distance of approximately 22,300 miles above Earth. The regular night/day cycle, weather patterns, and seasonal changes in the western hemisphere are clearly visible via the 'eyes' of the camera, which observe objects in the visible spectrum, similar to the human eye, with a resolution of about 20 km per pixel. "We are pleased to be able to offer, exclusively to our customers, footage from the world's only Earth-viewing live video camera on a commercial communications satellite," said Dave Shull, senior vice president of Programming at DISH Network. "What's more, from time to time, the DISH Earth camera is able to capture some unique images, including an unidentified flying object last August." The DISH Earth camera was integrated onboard the EchoStar 11 spacecraft, a high powered satellite launched in 2008 to a geo-synchronous orbit at 110 degrees west longitude, which provides video service for DISH Network customers. In addition to the live video footage, DISH Network has also partnered with Space Services, Inc. (SSI), a Houston-based aerospace company, to offer consumers photos of the planet on a loved one's special day via its Give the World(TM) service. The camera captures the cloud formations, storms, and the green and blue beauty of planet Earth forever in a nicely packaged photo frame to commemorate a birthday, wedding, anniversary or any memorable occasion. Regular photo pricing ranges from $29.95 to $99.95. The DISH Earth camera was developed by the EchoStar Spacecraft Operations Team, Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation of Pasadena, CA, and Space Systems/Loral and is operated under a license granted by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For more information about DISH Earth and other DISH Network programming, visit Dish Systems online or call 866-989-3474.