Spotted from space: The Costa Concordia shipwreck

A satellite photo of the capsized vessel taken from space shows the tremendous challenge facing rescuers and salvage workers.
Written by Tuan Nguyen, Contributor

Anyone who's seen photos of the Costa Concordia cruise ship listing on its side knows that salvage and rescue crews have a tremendous undertaking on their hands. But for a really pronounced sense of the breadth and scale of the operation, take a look at a satellite photo of the shipwreck taken from space.

From above you can see with exquisite detail the 950-ft boat lying on its side, half-submerged off the coast of Tuscany. The image was snapped by Earth-observation company DigitalGlobe shortly after the ocean liner ran aground on Jan. 13 and capsized. Of the 4,200 or so people on board, 11 have been confirmed dead and 23 people are still missing. Divers have suspended the search for survivors after the vessel appeared to be slipping dangerously into deeper water. SMIT, the dutch salvage firm responsible for recovering the ship and minimizing environmental damage says that the operation could take several weeks.

Related story: Costa Concordia disaster -- Was faulty ship design to blame?

DigitalGlobe operates the Quickbird, Worldview-1 and Worldview-2, a triage of satellites with high-resolution cameras. Most notably, the satellites were used to photograph the Bin Laden compound prior to the military raid that killed the world's most wanted fugitive.

More breathtaking satellite images:

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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