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SCI/TECH: Public Database Sheds Light on Spy Satellites

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posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 01:05 PM
An inventory of nearly all 800 satellites in orbit including US spy satellites and their roles in space has been developed by a group called The Union of Concerned Scientists. The scientists spent several years gathering information on the satellites which range from Spy satellites to weather satellites. The list is the first public inventory of all satellites that are currently in orbit.
The inventory, developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists and released Wednesday, provides details on some of the Pentagon’s most secret satellites, which may gather images in the dark or take high-resolution pictures from 12,000 miles (19,200 kilometers) away.

“Until now, the general public didn’t have easy access to information about all active satellites,” said Laura Grego, a Cambridge astrophysicist who was on a team that spent several years compiling information on the nearly 800 active satellites. “No one owns space, so everyone has a right to know what’s up there.”

The inventory also provides details about a highly classified $1 billion satellite, known as Misty-2, including its expected life span of more than 5 years and May 22, 1999, launch date.

Grego said satellite watchers had spotted Misty-2 even though it was disguised as space debris. “These guys are in the backyards every night and know the sky like the back of their hand,” she said.

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Well I think this is excellent news to finally have everyone come together to share what they know about satellites that are being launched into space. Its pretty interesting how they try to hide a satellite as space junk and makes you wonder why they would go to such lengths to do that. And the information on some of the satellites and their abilites is pretty impressive, espically the spy satellites.

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posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 02:29 PM
1. why do you think it is extraordinary that governments would go to great lengths to hide spy satellites? there is a reason they are called "spy" satellites.

2. norad has had a comprehensive collection of data on satellites and space junk for years now. in fact, nasa confirms its shuttle trips with them in order to avoid collision with anything orbiting up there, so this is nothing new, really...except for the obvious fact that it is in the public domain. wonder how long before the US begins to prosecute some of these guys for release of classified materials?

posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 02:40 PM
I didnt say it was extraordinary I said it was interesting that thats how they did that. And teh fact that they would try that. Although Norad does track space objects, these scientists have classified the satellites and have researched their roles. And as for as releasing classified info if a bunch of scientists have done this so far imagine what countries that are really interested have done with thier intelligence resources at hand.

The database contains 21 types of data for each satellite, including technical information about each satellite (mass, power, launch date, expected lifetime) and its orbit (apogee, perigee, inclination, and period), as well as what the satellite is used for, and who owns, operates, and built the satellite.

posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 03:00 PM
Good find. Good coverage.

Kinda like Open Source access to info about our public domains. Always a good idea IMO.

posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 08:48 AM
Great find. I haven't seen this kind of data since reading the NORAD reports when I was in the military. Being an amateur astronomer, this data is useful to me.

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