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The SPOT earth observation system designed by CNES began operations in February 1986. On 26 September 1993 the SPOT 3 satellite joined the other SPOT 1st generation satellites SPOT 1 and 2.

Having the same HRV instruments, SPOT 3 had the same imaging characteristics as SPOT 1 and 2. It had a swath of 60 km and oblique viewing capability of 27° on each side of the local vertical. The instruments were able to acquire 1 panchromatic band (10 m) and 3 multispectral bands (20 m).

Minimize MIssion Facts and Figures
Operator CNES
Launch date 26 September 1993
End date November 1996
Orbit Height 832km
Orbit Type Sun-synchronous
Repeat Cycle 26 days
Resolution 10 to 20m
Swath Width 60km
Onboard sensors provided under TPM HRV (High-Resolution Visible)