posted on Jun, 18 2010 @ 08:05 PM
Back in the day, the USSR maintained a number of spy satellites that used radar to track naval vessels. They were powered by nuclear reactors. Most of
them successfully ejected their reactor cores into higher stable orbits when they were retired, but a few weren't successful. One, kosmos 1818,
recently was damaged and sprayed a bunch of radioactive coolant into space.
so, yeah, the USSR could have been tracking all naval activity since the late 60s. I'm sure any network of regular spy satellites could be used to
track ships of any size, but that would require having actual photo surveillance experts examine the photos. Not that this is any problem for a
country that can afford a network of spy satellites.
This ISS thing is probably meant to provide an automatic map of all the world's shipping, to be like the equivalent of an air traffic control map,
only for the oceans. I don't really have a problem with that. For being a place with no government or ownership, international waters isn't exactly
the land of the free. Maritime law is pretty harsh.