Satellite will spy for a price

A commercial satellite company is to start selling high-resolution pictures taken from space of anywhere in the world.

From January 1, 2000 US company Space Imaging will take a picture of detailed resolution down to one metre but prices range from $30 for a square to $500 for the privilege of the most detailed picture possible.

The satellite called Ikonos orbits the earth every 90 minutes at a height of 425 miles and can store up to 100 pictures at a time.

John Copple, CEO of Space Imaging denies however that this can be seen as surveillance because, he claim, the satellite only passes a single point in the world once per day. Inquiries can be made via the Space Imaging Web site .