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Pléiades 1A, the newest French satellite, has photographed the Alhambra, along with other international sites, in order to showcase its pinpoint accuracy from space. The captured photo, in black and white, shows part of the monument with extraordinary clarity.
The photos, sent to Earth on 17 December 2011, four days after the launch of the satellite, have been published by the French National Space Agency CNES, owner of the satellite.
The photo of Granada joins others of Madrid and San Francisco (USA). Pléiades 1A delivered its first pictures on 17 December 2011, just four days after being put into orbit by the Soyuz launcher. Several examples have now been made public.
The first image by an Earth observation satellite represents the moment when the onboard instruments and Earth systems are activated for the first time. The image-capturing capacity of the satellite, the capture of the images themselves, the reception of the data and the preliminary process are verified from top to bottom.
Over the coming months, Pléiades 1A will reveal a range of innovations in detailed cartography and photo-interpretation, among other fields.