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Secret military satellite launch deciphered

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posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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Yesterday, on June 20 at 8:28 a.m. EDT, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.



We were told it was a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. The NRO launches spy satellites among other things.

So what was exactly launched yesterday?

The space buffs at nasaspaceflight.com think they know. Using public information available for the Atlas V 401 launch vehicle, they concluded the following:


- the payload is relatively small
- the rocket was painted white to reflect heat, indicating an "extended coast phase"
- the satellite is destined for geostationary orbit
- the payload was probably a Satellite Data System (SDS) communication satellite

The released image below is a first generation SDS, the launch yesterday was a third generation SDS code named Quasar:




The primary purpose of the SDS satellites is to relay imagery from low-flying reconnaissance satellites, notably the Keyhole optic reconnaissance and Lacrosse/Onyx radar reconnaissance satellites to ground stations in the United States.


Given that so much information can be gleaned by just observing a launch, should the military stop people from viewing the flights?

Sources:

news.cnet.com...
www.nasaspaceflight.com...
en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 01:00 PM
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Why bother hiding, not that the person viewing it can stop it.
Usual america



posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Nicolas Flamel
Given that so much information can be gleaned by just observing a launch, should the military stop people from viewing the flights?


So much information? The NRO launched a spy satellite. Duh. Other than that, you don't have much. It's speculation. And that begs the question. How do you prevent people from observing a rocket launch? It's like trying to hide an aircraft carrier. People with binoculars aren't going to derive much intelligence from watching it go up. About all they can do is record the time of launch and say, "Yup, that rocket went right up into the sky!"



posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 





How do you prevent people from observing a rocket launch?


You could launch them at night from a more isolated launch facility like Vandenberg Air Force Base.

I'm personally on the fence on this one, but if a war with a nation with space capabilities ever broke out, satellites would be primary targets. Why give them more information?



posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by Nicolas Flamel
 


If you give Alternative 3 any credence, there must be a bunch of hidden launches and some hidden launch sites - the South Pacific is pretty big. I believe these visible "classified" launches are just a distraction to keep conspiracy theorists busy - I used to be one who fell for these little distractions.

Alternative 3:

www.bibliotecapleyades.net...


Secret bases they want us to know about:

www.bibliotecapleyades.net...



posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by PlanetXisHERE
 


You're probably right. They keep your focus on one hand while the other is doing something else. This could be a "for public consumption" launch.



posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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Just my 2 cents...
Hiding a launch from a normal citizen is difficult but probably feasible. As planetX mentioned, there is a lot of room on earth for hidden launch bases.

Hiding a launch from other nations (especially Russia) is quite another game.
There are satellites in orbit designed specifically to detect rocket plumes (early detection systems for ICBM launches). Cold war era relics. I imagine there is more sophisticated ways to detect those launches nowadays.

So IMO it is quite impossible to launch something in orbit, without anyone noticing it.
Its just that the "notice" might not trickle down to us, normal citizens.
edit on 21-6-2012 by SolidGoal because: typo

edit on 21-6-2012 by SolidGoal because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by SolidGoal
Just my 2 cents...
Hiding a launch from a normal citizen is difficult but probably feasible. As planetX mentioned, there is a lot of room on earth for hidden launch bases.

Hiding a launch from other nations (especially Russia) is quite another game.
There are satellites in orbit designed specifically to detect rocket plumes (early detection systems for ICBM launches). Cold war era relics. I imagine there is more sophisticated ways to detect those launches nowadays.

So IMO it is quite impossible to launch something in orbit, without anyone noticing it.
Its just that the "notice" might not trickle down to us, normal citizens.
edit on 21-6-2012 by SolidGoal because: typo

edit on 21-6-2012 by SolidGoal because: (no reason given)


Good point - if they were doing hidden launches from some far-flung hidden launch sites - they would have to keep the Russians and Chinese and any other non-Western space capable nations quiet.



posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 03:23 AM
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The X37B removes any trouble for the military as far as hiding launches go.......
This thing gets a pggi back ride, and bingo...flies up into space.....easy peasy.....
I am sure they have many more of these in the factory in various stages of construction....The dam thing atyed up for hundreds of days twice now!
They relaunch this baby many more missions and theyll come up with follow on systems that will be really hard to detect in launch mode.....



posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 05:33 AM
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Sorry but try and stop me from watching a rocket launch considering I LIVE right by the Kennedy Space Center complex where these things are launched. I just walk outside and there it is.

You can feel it and see it, no stopping me in that regard.


It was a secret payload, so what? They launch many secret payloads from the Air Force station at KSC. This is nothing new.



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