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Questions tagged [reconnaissance-satellite]

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23
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4answers
5k views

Is there a satellite that tracks other satellites?

Is there a satellite that tracks other satellites, or is tracking always done from ground stations? Ground stations can only see a small part of the sky, so a network of stations would be needed. A ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Could a spy satellite in orbit be recommissioned to do astronomy?

Since the National Reconnaissance Office offered NASA a left-over Hubble sized mirror that might be used for the WFIRST space telescope, I wonder if the NRO has satellites in operation that could do ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Is there any public imagery from low orbit satellites from 85-90 degrees latitude?

I found a lot of satellites with a 90 degree inclination, such as the retired NNSS 'transit' geolocation system. This takes them squarely over the north pole and after awhile they should cover the ...
4
votes
1answer
664 views

Can image-stacking allow this 0.25 m satellite telescope achieve 0.65m resolution?

The BBC News item UK satellite to make movies from space describes this newly deployed satellite: caption: Artwork: Manufacturer SSTL calls it Carbonite-2, but Earth-i refers to the satellite as ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Does the name “corona discharge” bear any relation to the Corona surveillance satellites or is this a coincidence?

Corona discharges were observed on the Corona satellites which carried film cameras, negatively affecting the image quality. Was it a coincidence that the name of this phenomenon is the same as the ...
7
votes
1answer
285 views

Any news about the Mars-3 landing site since early 2013?

The image below of Mars' surface and text is from the NASA JPL Photojournal Catalog: PIA16920: Could This Be the Mars Soviet 3 Lander? The latest data shown for the Mars 3 site in Wikipedia is from ...
2
votes
1answer
791 views

What makes Gaofen-4 “the most powerful GEO spy satellite”?

Does Popular Science's GAOFEN 4, The world's most powerful GEO spy satellite, continues China's great leap forward into space label as most powerful GEO spy satellite refer to optical resolution, ...
5
votes
1answer
398 views

Why are spy satellites in elliptical orbits?

This answer mentions that (optical) spy satellites are often in elliptical orbits, and when I look here sure enough the orbits are elliptical, with periapsis altitudes around 250 to 400 km, and ...
6
votes
2answers
244 views

Atmospheric influences on earth to satellite visibility and vice versa (e.g. atmospheric seeing)

Are there qualitative differences between observing satellite from earth surface vs. observing earth from the same satellite. Given the same optics on both places. Does it matter which way we look ...
3
votes
2answers
821 views

Reconnaissance satellite altitudes

I was lately reading about making pictures of ISS. The pictures are not really great from "home telescopes". I was wondering what the usual altitude of espionage satellites is, given those pictures ...