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SpaceX to launch secret Northrop spacecraft

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posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 03:01 PM
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according to TheWarzone

SpaceX Is About to Launch A Mysterious Northrop Grumman Spacecraft Called "Zuma"


Space launch firm SpaceX is preparing to boost a Northrop Grumman spacecraft, code named Zuma, into low earth orbit from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But what the payload actually is, what it’s supposed to do and for how long, and what U.S. government agency or agencies are involved in the project all remain a mystery.

[...]

So far, though, no U.S. government entity has officially claimed ownership of the payload. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which manages America’s spy satellites, told Aviation Week that it had no connection to this particular mission.

www.thedrive.com...

Does anyone have further info on this spacecraft?




posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 03:30 PM
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Nothing other than tonights launch was scrubbed until tomorrow. With what seems to be a b s reason to me ymmv.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 04:52 PM
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Zuma?Title of a series of Video games...
Zuma



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

I can't imagine that there is only one secret payload aboard that sucker. Call me jaded, but I would think there's more.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

Secret payloads are generally large satellites, and can only fit one on the launch vehicle.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 08:15 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Normally I'd agree, but since we can now miniaturize tons of components I wouldn't bet the farm on a couple of projects going up due to possible future budget constraints.

Seriously, I'm jaded.




posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

I hope they are insured?



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

No we really can't, depending on what the satellite is for. There are some things that are going to have to be fairly large, just because they won't work if they're too small.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Very cautiously & Respectfully,
If it's been done before, it can be again. Plus the large list that I got back in my search is just what we know about. There have probably been many we don't.

ieeexplore.ieee.org...

www.theverge.com...



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 08:58 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

And you can shrink a camera all you want, but below a certain point you'll be lucky to see the planet, let alone fine detail 300 miles away.

Below a certain point and that radio antenna won't even detect a signal, let alone relay it to other satellites, or several thousand miles. Or won't have much bandwidth for sending data.

Those 104 satellites were microsats. One of the things about those is that they're less capable than full up satellites. They also tend to deorbit fairly quickly.
edit on 11/16/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 09:22 PM
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nanosatellites

Cube satellites for instance.
www.degruyter.com...

Plus this is old technology, an just an example.

From what I understand we've been doing this for a good long while first under the n*s*a, but I would imagine everyone is in on it now. The history that's been permitted to be released so far is incredible, so what we don't know is probably mind blowing.

From Pine Gap and ever since we've been slapping equipment into space to "listen" in on the slightest whispers from other countries. Usually under the cover of "scientific missions".

Suggesting that we wouldn't maximize a space launch to double up on the payloads doesn't sound like the US in any way shape or form.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

We could have been launching them from the first satellite, and it wouldn't change the fact that they can't stay up longer than a few months, and can't do what a full size satellite can.

Thereare no rockets that can carry more than one full size satellite at a time. There is no way to double up, no matter what your feelings tell you. And nothing you have said, or linked shows that they can put some of these systems on small satellites.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

resolution versus aperture

That said, going beyond 6 inches aperture has diminishing returns due to atmospheric limitations.



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

If not NRO, who do you think is the most likely culprit? USAF?



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: Tajlakz

DIA or USAF probably if not the NRO. It could be one of the agencies no one ever talks about too.
edit on 11/16/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Let's assume that NRO is not involved. Does that narrow down the possible missions for this payload?



posted on Nov, 16 2017 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: Tajlakz

Not really. There is a surprising amount of overlap with the various agencies. You can find two radar sats in similar orbits, not far from each other, both belonging to different agencies. There's still not a lot of inter agency communication going on. Especially with their assets.



posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 12:02 AM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: mightmight

I hope they are insured?


funnily enough maybe not

In 2016 a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad, destroying the Israeli communication satellite Amos-6.
The company (Spacecom) which handled the payload on the Israeli side only carried insurance for the launch but because the explosion occured during testinng prior to launch their insurance wouldnt cover it.
They were able to convince the manufacturer of the satellite, Israel Aerospace Industries to cover the construction cost though.



posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 08:18 AM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: mightmight

I hope they are insured?


I believe SpaceX (and other launch providers like ULA) are required to carry 3rd party liability insurance for pre-launch activities (chemical spills, etc.) and damage to the launch facility (which, in the case of their existing launch facilities in Florida and California, are leased from the government). See the first few paragraphs here.

As for the payload itself, while commercial launches generally carry insurance in case of a RUD event, government launches are essentially self-insured. When CRS-7, a cargo Dragon launch to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 back in 2015, was lost when the rocket exploded, NASA noted that their cargo was not insured.

Also, as someone who works in the insurance industry, insurance carriers tend to ask a lot of really nosy questions about the things they insure - the kinds of questions neither the NSA nor other government intelligence agencies would be inclined to answer. It would probably be possible to find someone to write a policy to cover the loss of a classified payload, but I would guess the premium would be prohibitively expensive.



posted on Nov, 17 2017 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

www.zumaengineering.com...

Found this in a search and wondered if it might be linked, given the past links to Northrop.

This link mentions they make satellites

www.usaopps.com...
edit on 17-11-2017 by DrBobH because: More digging




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