Five years ago today — September 6, 2008 — a Delta II rocket launched from Vandenberg AFB carrying a privately-owned remote sensing satellite.
(GeoEye 1. Image from the Satellite Imaging Corporation web page.)
Despite being privately owned and operated, one of GeoEye 1‘s main customers for its multi-spectral images is the Department of Defense. You can see a selection of GeoEye imagery in this gallery.
And on the same day that GeoEye 1 launched, the Chinese launched two environmental monitoring satellites, Huan Jing 1A and Huan Jing 1B, from the Taiyuan launch site on a Long March 2C rocket.
So, 5 years ago today was a good day for remote sensing!