A shadow of the future: When is a space shuttle not a space shuttle?

When it is a museum-piece being shuttled by an airplane to its resting place.  Digitalglobe’s twitter-feed just sent this out.  A little sad picture of the past (almost a year ago).  Note the artifacting of the image in the photo?  The way Digitalglobe explain it is the aircraft is moving fast during the time their imagery payload is taking two different kinds of images (panchromatic and color).  So you get a shadow of the future, thanks to slow tech.

Being in a low earth orbit (LEO) works wonders for imagery satellites and fortuitous shots like this occur a lot if the payload is always being used.  But the payload technology can lag behind a simple cell phone camera sensor.  Imagine taking a picture of the shuttle with something like the Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel sensor…

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