NASA Satellite Snaps 3 Billionth Photo of Earth

A 5-year-old NASA satellite has hit a mindboggling milestone high above Earth: The spacecraft snapped its 3 billionth image of the planet … that's right, 3 billion.

The prolific Earth-observation satellite, called CALIPSO, took the image on June 2 using laser and infrared ranging instruments and has since gone on to take more imagery. A June 3 image from the satellite shows a vertical look at the massive smoke plume from the wildfires in Arizona.

Since its 2006 launch, the CALIPSO satellite has traveled more than 750 million miles (1.2 million kilometers) as it orbits the Earth, NASA officials said in a statement. The amount of data and images it has recorded would fill 10,500 DVDs or 75,000 CDs, they added

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