Questions tagged [reconnaissance-satellite]

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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Zveratko's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
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When was it publicly revealed that a KH-11 spy satellite took pictures of the first Shuttle flight?

Even before the first Shuttle flight, NASA was already concerned about possible damage during liftoff. They had arranged for a KH-11 spy satellite to photograph the shuttle in orbit. The operation ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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25 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Dan Sorensen's user avatar
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23 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
364 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
930 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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Did anything specific 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
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3 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Zveratko's user avatar
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