Questions tagged [reconnaissance-satellite]

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Does a country need to announce the parameters of its newly launched satellite to the world?

I am wondering if there is any international organization regulating such things. Possibly countries do not need to tell anything about their spy satellites, but should tell about their commercial ...
S. Kohn's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
42 views

Time a rocky satellite in lunar "frozen" orbit spends in Earth's umbra during total lunar eclipse

I am wondering how long a large satellite in a lunar frozen orbit would remain in the Earth's umbra during a total lunar eclipse. The satellite is spheroid with a diameter of 200 km. Let us say that ...
JM Yaden's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
7k views

Can a military satellite be used to spy on any place on Earth undetected? [closed]

Of course like many people I only know about military satellites from movies, so I wanted to get some information (perhaps get some myths debunked) by some experts: Can the military use a military ...
RedZ's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
452 views

Why is the LROC lunar data not showing farside of the moon?

This data does not include the far side, why not? e.g I want TiO2 on the far side: https://quickmap.lroc.asu.edu/layers?extent=-90,-28.758929,90,28.758929&proj=10&showGraticule=true&layers=...
dlight's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
356 views

Is there a database of recent satellite images which will allow me to estimate how much of Mariopol has been destroyed?

In the news I often see satellite images from Maxar Technologies showing a neighborhood or sector of Mariupol to have been destroyed in shelling. However, I would like a more comprehensive view of the ...
Tom's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is this Planet Labs video wobbly?

Planet Labs recently tweeted ( https://twitter.com/planet/status/1481790983155044352 ) a video showing a Falcon 9 first stage landed on a pad. Strangely, the image looks like it was taken by a camera ...
JohnEye's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why no Ofeqs between 11 and 16?

Wikipedia's Ofeq; Launch History lists Ofeq 1 through 11 and then 16. It does not mention a 12, 13, 14 or 15. Were they so stealthily launched that nobody knows about them, or skipped, had non-Ofeq ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
713 views

Could DOD earth observation (i.e. spy) satellites have photographed the Columbia Orbiter on STS-107?

I read in an (unknown) aircraft accident investigation book that NASA engineers wanted to use DOD earth observation satellites to check for damage on the Columbia Orbiter during STS-107. This did not ...
johnDanger's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did the KH-11 get the nickname "Kennen"?

The KH-11 has been one of the United States' most important models of spy satellites, and much of its design is similar to the Hubble Space Telescope. "KH" is an abbreviation for Key Hole. The KH-11 ...
DrSheldon'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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7 votes
1 answer
420 views

Why did Germany launch its spy satellites from Russia?

I just saw this article on a family of German recon sats https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAR-Lupe They were all launched from Russia! Why? Why not an Ariane launch from French Guiana? I can ...
techSultan's user avatar
26 votes
1 answer
4k views

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
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 ...
Dan Sorensen's user avatar
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23 votes
3 answers
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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
311 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 ...
Mark's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
363 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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2 votes
1 answer
2k 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, ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
925 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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7 votes
2 answers
504 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 ...
Zveratko'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
  • 307