The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to non-commercial users, Spot satellite data that are at least five years old.
The 23 January announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made 17 January during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).
CNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercialises Spot data.
CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, “is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).”
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