It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
An explosion on a distant comet, Holmes, has been examined by UK astronomers using the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) on the Canary Islands. The explosion was so big that the comet brightened by a factor of a million; and it can now be seen from the Northern Hemisphere with the naked eye. Holmes is currently moving away from the Sun, and is almost midway between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
-----Original Message----- From: XXXXXXX Sent: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX 13/06/2005 ........................ ........................ Deep Impact will rendezvous with the comet TT on July 4, 2005. We will have five months to pour over the numbers. Hopefully, we will know the megatons needed for our last shot with Holmes. We plan to launch December 14th using a Boeing Delta 7920 with the launch name USA 193 (NROL-21) carrying the nuclear payload. As it stands, if we can launch before December 2007, we will have 9 months before intercept, and 16 months for the answer.
The meetings with ULA have been productive.
NROL 21 (or USA 193) is the cover-name for one-off classified satellite. Although nothing is known about the mission, the orbit hints for an experimental radar reconnaisance satellite as it uses the same inclination as the Lacrosse radar satellites. Most likely it was related to the radar component of the FIA (Future Inteligence Architecture). A few weeks after launch reports emerged, that grond stations were unable to communicate with an expensive experimental U.S. spy satellite launched last year by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Efforts were said to be continuing to reestablish communication with the classified satellite, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but "the prognosis is not great at this point," said the defense official, who asked not to be identified.The official said the problems were substantial and involved multiple systems, adding that U.S. officials were working to reestablish contact with the satellite because of the importance of the new technology it was meant to test and demonstrate. An other source said the satellite had been described to him as "a comprehensive failure." The Pentagon deceided to destroy the satellite to prevent larger parts reaching the earth. On February 21th 2008 a Standard-SM3 missiles fired from the USS Lake Erie in the pacific ocean hit the spacecraft and destroyed. Reportedly more the 80 parts of debris were detected. It is expected, that this event in a very low orbit will create only short lived orbital debris.