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Bird-Watching at GeoEye

Good news and bad news today for investors in Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation GeoEye (Nasdaq: GEOY  ) . Which do you want first?

Good news, please
Good choice. So here goes: Remember how last month I mentioned that GeoEye's eponymous satellite had passed two of its environmental tests successfully, and was in the process of completing its third and final test at a General Dynamics (NYSE: GD  ) facility? Back then, GeoEye management assured us that testing would be complete by the end of March, having been delayed a couple of weeks because of "a test equipment issue and not a satellite problem."

Well, as it turns out, those delays lasted a bit longer than expected, but testing has finally ended. According to a press release from General Dynamics this morning, "GeoEye-1" has passed its last test and been pronounced fit to fly.

OK, now give us the bad news
Well, remember how last month, I mentioned that there was a remote possibility that this bird could get pushed out of the nest by its originally planned April 16 launch date? Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. According to General D's press release, it's been told to sit on the egg at its space systems facility "until it is shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. for launch this summer." And last I checked, even multiple tweaks to daylight saving time have not resulted in pushing April into the summer.

That leaves two possibilities. There may be some chance that GeoEye-1 will fly by the June 15-ish launch date that some parties have been tossing around, but I'm not optimistic about that. Seems more likely that Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) aren't going to find room in their busy schedules to put this bird in the air before Aug. 22.

But hey, look on the bright side. At least "Dash-One" passed its test. And as for getting it airborne, well, better late than never.

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BA $137.45 Up +1.82 +1.34%
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LMT $232.16 Up +1.64 +0.71%
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