SPOT 5 was launched on May 4, 2002 and has the goal to ensure continuity of services for customers and to improve the quality of data and images by anticipating changes in market requirements.
SPOT 5 has two high resolution geometrical (HRG) instruments that were deduced from the HRVIR of SPOT 4. They offer a higher resolution of 2.5 to 5 meters in panchromatic mode and 10 meters in multispectral mode (20 metre on short wave infrared 1.58 - 1.75 µm). SPOT 5 also features an HRS imaging instrument operating in panchromatic mode. HRS points forward and backward of the satellite. Thus, it is able to take stereopair images almost simultaneously to map relief.