Satellite-based hyperspectral imaging became a reality in November 2000 with the successful launch and operation of the Hyperion system on board the EO-1 platform. Hyperion is a pushbroom imager with 220 spectral bands in the 400-2500 nm wavelength range, a 30 meter pixel size and a 7.5 km swath. Pre-launch characterization of Hyperion measured low signal to noise (SNR<40:1) for the geologically significant shortwave infrared (SWIR) wavelength region (2000-2500 nm). The impact of this low SNR on Hyperion's capacity to resolve spectral detail was evaluated for the Mount Fitton test site in South Australia, which comprises a diverse range of minerals with narrow, diagnostic absorption bands in the SWIR. Following radiative transfer correction of the Hyperion radiance at sensor data to surface radiance (apparent reflectance), diagnostic spectral signatures were clearly apparent, including: green vegetation; talc; dolomite; chlorite; white mica and possibly tremolite. Even though the derived surface composition maps generated from these image endmembers were noisy (both random and column), they were nonetheless spatially coherent and correlated well with the known geology. In addition, the Hyperion data were used to measure and map spectral shifts of <10 nm in the SWIR related to white mica chemical variations.