Skip to main content

Questions tagged [military]

Questions regarding systems of or relating to armed forces.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

How (the heck) are military satellites with (apparently) classified TLEs still showing up on sat map websites?

As I first noted in this comment I couldn't get TLEs for the recently launched OFEQ-11 spy satellites from space-track.com. When I looked at Search Resuls: OFEQ 11 Satellite details 2016-056A NORAD ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

The strange orbit of Ofeq 11 - how does it (actually) do this?

I assume the retrograde orbit ($\theta_{inc}=142°$) is a side-effect of geography - ocean overfly access only lies West of the secured launch site - this article in Spaceflight 101 makes several ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
33 votes
5 answers
9k views

India just shot down a satellite from the ground. At what altitude range is the resulting debris field?

This tweet from India's prime minister Narendra Modi says: मेरे प्यारे देशवासियों, आज सवेरे लगभग 11.45 - 12.00 बजे मैं एक महत्वपूर्ण संदेश लेकर आप के बीच आऊँगा। I would be addressing the nation at ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
31 votes
6 answers
9k views

Did the Space Shuttle have "military uses"?

In an interview with Oleg Kotov, a Russian cosmonaut, he makes an ambiguous statement on the military uses of the Space Shuttle: New Scientist: After the cold war, why didn't Russia maintain its ...
coleopterist's user avatar
  • 6,063
5 votes
2 answers
514 views

What did India's recently tested ASAT vehicle really look like?

Following up to India just shot down a satellite from the ground. At what altitude range is the resulting debris field? which shows the first image below (also seen in video) I also found the second ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
10 votes
1 answer
853 views

Is India having the military capability to "take out" a satellite in orbit still in question?

BBC News's article SpaceCom: Trump launches space warfare command says at the end: China, Russia and the US have all tested weapons that are capable of taking out a satellite, according to research ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
416 views

What force do the armed guards guarding the Crew-1 crew belong to?

In the comments to the question Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons?, the question was raised what force the guards in the photo belong to. In particular, ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
256 views

How to decide if the rocket most recently tested by North Korean is classified as long-range or medium-range launch?

The Reuters article Russia, U.S. duel at U.N. over whether North Korea fired long-range missile describes some ongoing United Nations Security Council discussion related to the classification of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
301 views

Has a spacecraft ever actually sprayed a chemical (or anything) on to another spacecraft intentionally for any reason at all?

The question How many of these six military "orbital threat" techniques have been demonstrated in a (more or less) publicly recognized way? begins: If you are having a good day then under ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
137 views

Does transmitting from a few dishes significantly improve the performance of radar surveillance from Earth at GEO and beyond? If so, how exactly?

The BBC's US wants giant radar in UK to track space objects says: Lt Col Jack Walker of the US Space Force told the BBC the US was "in discussion" with the UK about putting the radars "...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
37 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why does the Minotaur I wear a yellow jacket that "banana-peels" off as it launches?

Videos available of the recent Minotaur I launch at Wallops for NROL-111 show a yellow jacket on most of the four stage SRB-to-orbit launch vehicle. I read or heard somewhere that wires attached to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
36 votes
3 answers
12k views

Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons?

The photo in NPR's 4 Astronauts Aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon Successfully Dock With Space Station shows the four astronauts standing in front of a serious-looking military vehicle flanked by at least two ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
17 votes
1 answer
770 views

What could the X-37 be useful for?

While U.S. Air Force doesn't disclose the tasks and roles for the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle class spacecrafts, there are many things known about the vessel, such as its delta-v budget, its cargo bay ...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
410 views

How does the US's 2008 debris cloud compare to India's 2019 and China's 2007 contributions?

The NPR News article NASA: Debris From India's Anti-Satellite Test Raised Threat To Space Station discusses last week's antisatellite test by India described further in answers to India just shot down ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes
2 answers
460 views

How many of these six military "orbital threat" techniques have been demonstrated in a (more or less) publicly recognized way?

If you are having a good day then under no circumstances should you read the US Defense Intelligence Agency's Challenges to Security in Space1 (Information cutoff date, January 2019) linked in Axios' ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
850 views

Does the US Navy guard SpaceX drone ships and make sure bad actors don't abscond with critical technology on the high seas?

SpaceX loses the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket due to choppy seas While I thought my question How vulnerable could space launch vehicles be to a “lone gunman”? was just my tangential ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
2 answers
919 views

What is the difference between Cape Canaveral SFS and Patrick SFB?

Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base are two facilities of the United States Space Force (both formerly assigned to the Air Force) on the east coast of Florida. They both ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
2 votes
2 answers
344 views

Does (or has) the US military launch anything besides weapons and weapons tests into space themselves?

Discussion below this question has lead to this question. I'd like to know if the US military has in the past, or still does, launch non-weapon payloads into orbit themselves. (Orbit, as opposed to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

What were the two circa 1965 semi-polar missions launched from Cape Canaveral?

Teslarati's SpaceX sets date for first Florida launch of its kind in more than half a century says That November 1960 launch thus shut down East Coast polar launches to avoid overflying Cuba and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
33 votes
4 answers
13k views

Was the Space Shuttle ever actually intended for the military to steal satellites without the owner's consent?

Related: Did the Space Shuttle have "military uses"? (This question is discussed in comments, but not really conclusively answered.) One of the military requirements that was added on to ...
ikrase's user avatar
  • 8,883
17 votes
5 answers
17k views

Was Hubble really related to spy satellites?

Around the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, I remember comments in the media that the Hubble may be related to certain espionage satellites. The Hubble was designed and built around the time that ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

How close was the U.S. DoD to getting their own space shuttle?

This answer explains that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) had plans for their own space shuttle. The so-called "blue shuttle" would be operated by the U.S. Air Force out of Vandenberg Air Force ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
8 votes
2 answers
524 views

Has a rocket from a torpedo tube ever reached space?

Are submarine launches horizontal? is a general question and specifies by name two large ICBMs which are likely to need to be launched vertically. Since the large naval submarines usually come ready-...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
372 views

Why does this "Midas missile early warning satellite" have a tilting cone with such a complex black-and-white checkerboard pattern?

Clicking on images of historic satellites led me to the airvectors.net page Foundations Of Automated Space Technology which includes this image and passage: A number of Samos satellites were also ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Intercepting another satellite

Given the orbital elements of two satellites and the delta-V capabilities of one of the satellites, how can you calculate the maneuvers required to have the earliest possible interception? For ...
PixelArtDragon's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
410 views

How would the US military switch to re-usable rockets?

The Ars Technica article After 25 years, military told to move from “expendable” to “reusable” rockets gives me pause. The military rockets I'm aware of generally explode at end of mission by design (...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
266 views

Did anything specific (and interesting) happen on the 16 or 22 March 1992 passes of a Lacrosse I surveillance satellite over Tehran?

After reading the question Predicting non-Iridium flares and Why NOSS satellites flare? I found the following page linked in Wikipedia's Naval Ocean Surveillance System. The h2g2 (The Hitchhiker's ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
275 views

What is the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Augmented Geosynchronous Laboratory Experiment satellite?

The Spaceflight Now article Multi-satellite payload hoisted into high-altitude orbit by Atlas 5 rocket includes the passage: The lower passenger is the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
201 views

"Are we there yet?" (45th Space Wing's goal of being able to support 48 launches per year from Cape Canaveral)

This answer to What does “That's how we drive to 48!” mean? begins "drive to 48" refers to the 45th Space Wing's goal of being able to support 48 launches per year from Cape Canaveral. Has the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
2 answers
136 views

Can satellites really be launched within hours with RocketLab?

Watching the Rocket Lab - In Focus Launch 10/28/2020 video linked below, there is a section at 12:50: The ability to deploy new satellites to precise orbits in a ...
zabop's user avatar
  • 688
2 votes
7 answers
1k views

What does it take for a craft to perform a flight simulating weightlessness without having to fly a steep parabola/ellipse?

Alright, I'll try to ask a better question on what I mean so that we figure out how one becomes weightless in a craft without having to fly steep parabolae. Other than flying parabolae or nose-down ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Is 18 Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) which "detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit" a part of Space Force?

According to their twitter account: 18 Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit. Is 18 SPCS a US military squadron? Is it a part of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
507 views

Why Was DARPA's Orbital Express Refueling Program Discontinued?

From 2006-2008 DARPA ran a program called Orbital Express(wikipedia link) which was "a safe and cost-effective approach to autonomously service satellites in orbit." The program had several goals: ...
ViennaCodex's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
145 views

Need of the DoD for a heavy lift vehicle for "other" satellites

As mentioned in Saturn I history, the DoD wanted a launch vehicle to put A): 20,000 to 40,000 pounds (~9,100 to ~18,200 kg) into orbit, or B): accelerating 13,200 to 26,200 pounds (6,000 to 11,900 kg) ...
Niranjan's user avatar
  • 3,796
1 vote
1 answer
209 views

How fast is "Fast Space"?

The Ars Technica article SpaceX, Blue Origin have opened a “window of opportunity” for US Air Force links to an evocatively written Air University report titled: Fast Space: Leveraging Ultra Low-Cost ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k