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SpaceX to launch secret Northrop spacecraft

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posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 04:02 PM
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a reply to: BoutThere

You are stating it is above LEO, but below GEO. Are you meaning MEO?

Reports are the sat will be visible from the continental US in about two weeks. Or where it ought to have been. Then the amateurs here can hunt it. Euros and Aussies might be able to now, but not sure how many are sat hunters.




posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 04:09 PM
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Is there any way to track any sort of unusual military activity in the Indian ocean that might indicate the navy is looking for something? We have to assume if it fell back to Earth, they'll try to recover the remnants so someone else doesn't get their hands on it. This would probably require more than one tiny ship floating around looking for something across such a large area.



posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 05:00 PM
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Maybe for Mh370..
New search for Mh370



posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 05:12 PM
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anzha,

5000-12000 km is "considered MEO" 2 - 8 hour orbital period
35,800 km is "considered GEO" 12-24 hour orbital period

I am thinking MEO to an extent, but has the capacity and consistent ability to maneuverer into higher orbital planes closer to GEO as to maintain persistent observation when required.

We do not know the amount of orbital course correction burns that are allowed by the satellite, but based on the development cycle, they are highly efficient and long lasting at this point.... enough for multiple adjustments per month for a number of years, obviously dependent on the size and pressure capacities of the propellant tanks



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 05:34 PM
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posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Wouldn't it be interesting if NG built their own version of the X-37.



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

totally possible, and would make for an interesting development in terms of a reusable launch vehicle (especially if it would be associated with satellite servicing of some kind...)

we do know that NRO and intelligence satellites have used SNAP based reactors in a significant amount, could this be an opportunity to collect and or replace them?

or just another testbed for sensor systems and material degradation testing?



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

That'd make too much sense: they did just buy Orbital ATK, yes? That gives them their own rockets.

Oh why oh why can't we have an Airmail Act of 1934 for space?!



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 07:39 PM
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Having multiple vendors helps with getting things into space quicker..



posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:13 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Might just be a space radar prototype. Whether that would be a rorsat (ship tracker) or the space based awacs, idk.

breakingdefense.com...
edit on 12-1-2018 by anzha because: forgot the durned link



posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 02:20 PM
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Warzone has a writeup on it now:

www.thedrive.com...

Good summary of the whole thing.



posted on Jan, 13 2018 @ 07:53 PM
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a reply to: igetbuckets

www.washingtonpost.com... e7-b34a-b85626af34ef_story.html?utm_term=.e5f799733fc8


If the Rep is right, we'll see this done in court.



posted on Jan, 15 2018 @ 12:08 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I'm hoping it is a ballistic missile tracker. That's what we need right now over a particularly northerly and easterly place.

spacenews.com...

Northrop had the original demonstration Space Tracking and Surveillance System pairs of satellites, and they are the payload owner on Zuma. Why secrecy on the task and orbit? Because there aren't enough of them in orbit to provide continuous coverage over the sensitive area, and if their orbits were known the adversaries would time their launches to be when the satellites weren't.



The agency has long hoped to develop a constellation of low Earth orbiting satellites as a cueing tool for its ground-based radars and targeting systems. MDA officials have said repeatedly in recent months they want to make greater use of space.
....
Northrop Grumman’s own projections show the MDA could provide global protection with 10 satellites, but that the agency could take advantage of more localized protection with fewer satellites, said Randy Weidenheimer, the company’s director of advanced missile defense and warning programs. The analysis is considering both regional and homeland defense mission.
....
The analysis of alternatives the MDA and the Pentagon are conducting also would consider the agency’s use of hosted payloads, government and industry officials said. The MDA requested funds this year for the Spacebased Kill Assessment program in which space-based sensors would verify whether incoming missiles have been destroyed by defensive interceptors and thus no longer pose a threat. The program, first disclosed in the MDA’s 2016 budget request, appears to represent the agency’s first known foray into commercially hosted payloads, whereby organizations fly dedicated instruments aboard commercial satellites.


edit on 15-1-2018 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2018 @ 05:57 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel



But as the debate about the apparent loss of Zuma continues, there’s another question: just what was Zuma anyway? Speculation has focused on some kind of experimental radar imaging satellite, along the lines of USA 193—another mission that failed after reaching orbit—based on sources in the intelligence community and the orbit the spacecraft was being launched into. “But let’s be honest. None of us really knows at this stage,” cautioned one account.

And, for what it’s worth, the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates other radar imaging satellites, appears to be distancing itself from Zuma. After the launch Friday of a classified payload on a ULA Delta IV, a launch designed NROL-47 and also thought to be a radar imaging satellite, NRO tweeted that the launch was “the first of two planned NRO launches for 2018.” In other words, it wasn’t counting Zuma as an NRO mission. And so the mystery continues.


www.thespacereview.com...



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