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pole to pole satelites

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posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 04:55 AM
the other day I added a post to thread and have now done some research regarding what I have seen. Here is what I posted..

"I am fairly experienced in watching the night sky for various objects that tend to float around in it and I have recently been seeing two satellites of some description orbiting Earth in a fashion I've never seen before.

Currently I'm located in the Philippines and have some free time, so I tend to spend a lot of the night observing the sky when there is no, or partial, cloud cover.

There are two oddities about these satellites. Firstly, they both fly from North to South, and secondly, as the first one passes over and is about to be lost from view, the second one comes into view. So they are quite close together.

I have witnessed them on 3 occasions now at approximately 3.30am Philippines time. (give or take half hour or so, I'm yet to establish exact times)

I can't understand why there would be a need for two satellites to be in such close proximity to each other and why they would both follow the same flight path.

Presumably they are global mapping or some form of spy satellites. Yes they could be for communications, but I doubt that they would be for public use due to their North/South trajectories and their close proximity unless they are just relays of some description."

Now, here is what I have found after a few searches...

A polar orbit is one of the possible Low Earth Orbits. Unlike other classic orbits (that orbit in an east-west direction), the polar orbit travels north-south and over the poles. Each orbit is about 100 minutes long and covers the entire globe in 14 days.

As a satellite in a polar orbit... well, as it orbits, the earth spins under it from east to west. The only east-west component of the statelite's movement is from the spining of the earth and is not part of the movement of the satelite. This gives the satellite access to the entire surface of the earth - one strip at a time. This orbit is classically used by remote sensing satellites and spy satellites.

The altitude for polar orbits around Earth is classically 600 miles up though may go down to 300 or lower. However, the lower the orbit, the faster air friction takes a its toll upon the satellite and the shorter the lifespan.

The polar orbit is avoided by manned spacecraft because flying through or past the area above the magnetic poles poses a significant radiation hazard.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (CNN) -- Roaring into orbit, an Atlas 2AS rocket illuminated the night sky over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday, carrying with it a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, an agency that maintains spy satellites for the United States.

As is customary for the NRO, no details were released about the satellite, but experts told Reuters news agency that the type of rocket being used for launch and the location of the launch pad indicated it was a relay satellite rather than one used to collect imagery.

The rocket was launched by International Launch Services -- a joint venture of U.S.-based Lockheed Martin and Russian companies Khrunichev and Energia.

The rocket lifted off at 10:32 p.m. EDT. According to a press release on the ILS Web site, the satellite separated from the rocket 29 minutes later.

"ILS is honored to have a role in enhancing our nation's security by launching this NRO payload," said ILS president Mark Albrecht in a statement. "Every one of these missions is vitally important for national defense."

This was the third satellite launched for NRO in recent weeks. ILS launched a satellite for the NRO on September 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A Titan IV rocket was launched on October 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 05:00 AM
Hobby spacecraft watchers, using launch window and flight path data, suspect that the Atlas carried a spy satellite cluster designed to fly from pole to pole and eavesdrop on ocean vessels.

Some spotted the rocket and its payload after launch, but poor visibility conditions prevented them from confirming what was onboard, according to SeeSat-L, an Internet mailing list for visual satellite observers.

Ted Molczan of Toronto, a veteran spacecraft observer, thinks the payload could be a trio of orbiters, comprising part of the Naval Ocean Surveillance System, or NOSS. Such sibling satellites launch together and separate in space.

The triplets fly in tight formations to help them zero in on the location of radio transmissions from water and possibly land. The new satellites might be replacing one of a number of older generation NOSS clusters, Molczan said.

NOSS formations might be responsible for strange triangles of lights, witnessed on occasion by night sky observers, according to UFO experts.

Some of the top-secret satellites reportedly go by the code-name "Parcae," a reference in Roman mythology to the three all-seeing daughters of Zeus who spin, measure and cut the thread of fate for all mortals.

"The way I approach launches, it's really detective work. You're looking for clues and match them up with things you know," said Ted Molczan of Toronto.

The flight was postponed twice, giving him and other visual satellite observers an ideal opportunity to calculate the path of the payload.

"We got lucky. They gave us the precise launch window on three different dates," said Molczan, who thinks the payload is a cluster of orbiters that would comprise part of the Naval Ocean Surveillance System, or NOSS. Such orbiters launch together and separate in space.

"The launch should be visible ... within a 50-mile radius of the launch pad," he wrote in a message posted on the Visual Satellite Observer's Page. "I'm planning on viewing (it) from the mountains north of Santa Barbara."

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 05:07 AM
And then, would you believe, they launch another rocket, a Titan IV with more spy sats on board to aid in the search of terrorists...
and as the report states, it just happened to have been planned long before 911 happened.. coincidence??

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California (CNN) -- A Titan IV rocket blasted off from this base Friday carrying a top-secret payload, one that intelligence experts believe contains satellite imaging equipment -- which could be used to spy on suspected terrorists.

The launch went off without a hitch at 5:21 p.m. EDT after being postponed several times in recent days because of technical problems.

The mission was planned long before the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States that left thousands dead, but takes on new significance in the current atmosphere.

The Titan IV, built by Lockheed Martin, is the most powerful, expendable space launch vehicle in the country.

Its payload belongs to the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates satellites for the U.S. military and the intelligence community.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 06:08 AM
I can almost gurantee that the satellites you have seen are ploar orbiting weather satellites. They occur at altitudes of 850km (350 miles). There are a few of them in operation from the US called NOAA 17, NOAA 18 with another 3 of them on standby. Europe, China, India and Russia also have polar orbiting weather satellites. So you have probably seen two of these types of satellites. I reckon that spy satellites would be better as geo-stationary satellites, placed over strategic positions around the globe, probably North Korea, Iran etc

[edit on 25/11/2007 by OzWeatherman]

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 06:18 AM
It gets pretty busy up there, here is a view of LEO Satellites (green) and Debris Ring (red) from Chinese ASAT Test.


posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 10:51 AM

Originally posted by Extralien
And then, would you believe, they launch another rocket, a Titan IV with more spy sats on board to aid in the search of terrorists...
and as the report states, it just happened to have been planned long before 911 happened.. coincidence??

I can easily believe that the launch was planned prior to 9/11. Every satellite that's launched has a life the case of orbital imaging systems (of the military persuasion), that life span is normally tied to the amount of fuel carried for the thrusters (since international crises have a habit of occurring in out-of-the-way places that require orbital adjustments). One side-effect of this is that the minute one satellite goes on-orbit, plans are already in the works to launch its replacement a few years down the road.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 01:45 PM
I recently got to see the NOSS 3-1 satellite pair. They were separated by about 5 degrees, my guess. What was unusual was the brightness. I saw these two very bright star-like objects (est -2 mag) appear. As i watched I realized they were moving northward, inline with each other. After about 10 secs they started dimming. Seeing them at that magnitude is unusual.

I did some research and finally found out that those satellites matched the location and time of my sighting.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 03:23 PM
Thank you all very much for your replies.

It was pretty strange to see these satelites. I had not seen them before.
It does seem to me that they are currently set on a particular region of orbit seeing as the Asia area is the first place I've seen them.

Like I said, I'm not new to observing the night sky and these sats stand out like a sore thumb.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 11:09 PM
All recon satellites(spy) and mapping satellite use polar orbits. Telecom sats use geosycronous orbits. I think the iridiums are in a semi polar orbit??. Being that I live very close to some real tall mtns(10,000'+) and I do a lot of camping I have spent many hrs watching the spy satellites pass over head. And every once and a while you will see something extrordinary. Like the brilliant point of light that rises from the nevada side of the sierra nevada mtns and streaks off the the north west. Ive seen it 3 times now havent caught it coming back, if it does. At first I thought it was a satellite till the second time I saw it and it turned to the west.

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