Lockheed Martin Space Systems said Dec. 6 the Sunnyvale, Calif., team designing GeoEye’s next-generation, high-resolution imaging satellite completed the project’s preliminary design review three weeks ahead of schedule, keeping GeoEye-2 on track to enter production next year.

Lockheed Martin and Dulles, Va.-based GeoEye are currently gearing up for an early 2011 critical design review, a key milestone that precedes the production phase of a program.

GeoEye-2 is slated to enter service in early 2013 following launch aboard an Atlas 5 rocket arranged through Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services.