In November 2008, pirates hijacked the Sirius Star from the Kenyan coast. This ship carried two million gallons of crude oil worth $100 million. The pirates originally demanded $25 million in ransom money but last week settled for $3 million from the ship’s owner, Saudi Aramco.
During this time, a Thornton, Colorado company called GeoEye found and tracked the supertanker in the Gulf of Aden. The company has three satellites that provide images from around the world. They mainly do projects for companies, like Google Earth, and the government. Their engineers started by finding out where the ship was last seen, and then programmed one of their satellites to take pictures off the coast of Somalia. After four days, they had a satellite image of the ship and was able to track the ship.
GeoEye has also used its satellite to help search for Steve Fossett, who disappeared when flying his plane over the Nevada desert in September. Their satellite images are also used to help fishermen find fish in the sea.
Today with this new technology, even pirates in the middle of the ocean can’t hide. They can be can be tracked and found.