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back to article Cheesed-off spooks give up on duff spy-sat

Further admissions of expensive technical disasters have emerged from the United States' secretive spy-satellite agency, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Reuters reports today that a classified space platform employing new technologies, designated L-21, has been in orbit since last December. L-21, reportedly made by …

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Bring it back home...

Given that most space shuttle flights to the ISS come back "empty", why not give NASA the salvage rights and let them bring it back....a quick fix in the local radio shop, and then NRO can have it back....saves the issue of it dropping on someones head in a decade or twos time...

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Anonymous Coward

They certainly should

Bringing the satellite back would also stop the technology possibly falling into the hands of others.

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Is it really broken?

....or is that just what they want us to believe?

Move along... nothing to see here....... ;-)

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Insurance

What is the insurance like on one of these? I'd guess you want at least 3rd party, fire, theft, launchpad explosion? Maybe fully comp was too much?

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Anonymous Coward

It's not broken

It's seen "Dark Star" and it's sulking.

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Really Broke

Or just not responding to THEIR communications from the groud?

The chinese say thanks :D

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Breakdown Recovery...

I expect they paid up on the insurance, but forgot breakdown recovery... :]

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Re: insurance

would cost too much now, due to the floods...

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What really happened

I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

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Broken?

>>"Is it really broken?...or is that just what they want us to believe?"

<puts on conspiracy hat>

Maybe it didn't really get built.

They launch a nice empty shell, and share out the money, or use it for doing the *really* secret stuff, with alien corpses and everything.

If there's an area 51, and we keep getting leaks of secret stuff happening there, what about the first 50 that we never hear about?

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Silver badge

Knock, knock...... Who's there?

"Or just not responding to THEIR communications from the groud?

The chinese say thanks :D"

As do the dDutch, Sampler.

And re;... <<<Is it really broken? .........or is that just what they want us to believe?

Move along... nothing to see here....... ;-) ....By Mike Posted Friday 3rd August 2007 12:24 GMT

Well, IT aint working well enough if at all, so presumably something needs a Fix.

Crikey, what is wrong with Uncle Sam with its Lame Ducks and Cold Space Turkeys. Do you think it has anything to do with an Incestuous Intelligence Supply?

They do appear to got to the Outer Limits of Theirs. A Statement backed up and Reinforced Positively by themselves, as you can read for yourself here .....

"Concerned members of the intelligence community have told me that if a corporation wanted to insert items favorable to itself or its clients into the PDB to influence the US national security agenda, at this time it would be virtually undetectable. These companies have analysts and often intelligence collectors spread throughout the system and have the access to introduce intelligence into the system." .... http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070730/hillhouse

The Growth in Virtualised Depth Element of the Zero dDAy Trading Facility....... AI Specialised Application of Global Programming Sentinel System of Communication Satellites. Base to Space to Bases Virtualised InterNetworking with CyberIntelAIgent Chatter....... on Matter of Fact Issues.

"This is particularly frightening when one considers that the "war on terror" is fought by a $100 billion-plus industry that has a vested interest in its continuation."

Particularly dumb too, whenever you consider that it is their actions against it which may be propagating it. The same generous sum invested in Intelligently Designed Systems to detect and close down all weapons Systems would render distribution and manufacture impossible, and especially easily delivered with a Total Information Awareness Cyber Protocol.......... thus to allow for Sharing of Decommissioning Evidence and Lock Down and Separation of Key Critical Elements... AI Virtual, Mutually Assuring, Ensured FailSafe Quarantine.

"Closing the gaps is simply a matter of the Director of National Intelligence acknowledging the problem, then finding the political will and leadership to implement a solution. Unfortunately, it will probably take a public outcry to make this happen."

It is surely simply only a matter of him buying in the Intelligence which Shares with IT and Media, ITs Implementations for a Solution, thus to allow for Third Party Positive Reinforcement with their ProAction in an OverArching Universal Unified HyperRadioProActivity..... to Create Parallel Streams of Constructive Communicative Endeavour Sharing Results/Exposing Problem Faults for Solutions.

Shared Faults will elicit Simple Solutions which should be Applicable to all [Human] Systems for why would they be any Different from Each Other. Having Different Values is Divisive so always to Openly Offer a Service 42 Deliver only on its Unambiguous, Crystal Clear and Encouraging Acceptance, is bound to be AI Better Beta Program for InterReaction/The Seeding and Nurturing of Human Conscience in Alien Human Contact/Interaction with Native Cultures and UniVersal Forces.

But as you can read there, there is always more available elsewhere.

And how hypocritical of the Free Market Champion not to taste what IT's Pushing which suggests a Fraud/Cover Up/Quantum Black Hole in their Intelligence Machine.

But hey if you can waste $9.5bn on a "Misty" dud, plugging a Quantum Intelligence Black Hole with ITs Outsourcing, is never going to be a problem for a Boeing or a Lockheed Skunkworks surely, with such a massive debt creditted to them to get rid of/eclipse.

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Retrieval

Retrieval of that satellite is impossible. It was boosted too far 'up' for the shuttle to rendezvous with. Even if we waited for the orbit to decay and it to drop altitude it would be moving too fast. As to the factuality of it's failure... I leave that to the tinhats to ponder, but I point out that the majority of cost is in the rocket to boost it up, so sending up an 'empty' rocket makes no sense whatsoever.

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Inclination

An observer can tell the inclination of orbit within about 3 minutes of the launch. Even when they are launched from the Air Force's West Coast center, people can get close enough to see enough. So the orbits aren't really all that secret. That's why they have so much maneuvering fuel. So the Air Force had its "ah shit" moment very early on.

David, when the bird reaches a retrievable orbit, it won't be going too fast. Each orbit has one and only one velocity.

SEASAT 1 went black after about a minute. Rumors abound as to what happened there. But the Navy was managing the early stages of activation.

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Anonymous Coward

Another incomprehensible rant

...From Amanfrommars... or is it the intelligence community trying to secretly communicate with foreign operatives, using the (in code) comments on this article in much the same way that personal ads used to be used in the 70's... God knows I don't care...

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Orbital Speed

Dillon - Orbital Speed Varies per relative 'altitude' due to the decreasing pull of gravity; the higher you are, the less the pull, the slower your orbit. So we're both right but also wrong, It wouldn't be going too fast... but rather too slow to intercept, at least without putting the shuttle at risk.

This assumes of course it is on an equatorial orbit and not polar... in which case the shuttle isn't going that way regardless.

Here is a good orbital calculator:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/orbv3.html

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Silver badge

Virtual Comprehension

Re...Another Incomprehensible rant.

"God knows I don't care..." Yes, he would. And that would render you a Confused and Grateful Winner to Olympian Great Games Play.

And re the question in the anonymous opinion shared......... Probably.

Which probably may mean that you comprehend rant.

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Anonymous Coward

Strong stuff from Mars

I will have three ounces of whatever the Man from Mars is smoking...

... as long as my brain doesn't end up as completely fragged as his appears to be...

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Anonymous Coward

Space junk...

The lost satellite will always be available for target practice. Lockheed and others always come up with new weapons... including a missile that could be fired from a F15 Eagle, if Wikipedia is to be trusted...

About the Mars guy, it is just a post-bot that failed the Turing test, but its owner left it running on El Reg comments. No post from it ever made sense, and yes, its posts do resemble cryptic messages traded between spies... Just ignore it... The day it makes sense will be qualified as the day that a Dadaistic experiment has gone right!

Note that no human being would be able to post anything if he was so heavily stoned to write such amount of trash.

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Anonymous Coward

Lost in space....

Most spy satellites tend to work in a low polar orbit to allow them to move to areas of interest, only military communications satellites sit in geo-sync orbits.

Collecting satellites might be possible but is definitely impractical, although there have been some efforts to develop an ATV (automated transfer vehicle) which could go up and refuel old satellites, but I believe changing the large batteries is the real challenge there.

Under an obligation to the UN all countries are obliged to publish the orbital path of every satellite. Most spy satellites are declared "lost at launch", but this one is actually an admission that the satellite doesn't work. Quite a number of commercial satellites fail either during delivery or within the first few months of operation. They are hand-made delicate devices costing up to $0.5bn which you strap to a giant firework, it's hardly surprising they occasionally don't work.

As for insurance, there are a range of insurance plans available for commercial satellites depending on how little money or how brave you are. You can have insurance for delivery to the pad, for delivery to transfer orbit (it didn't blow up being launched), delivery into functional orbit or delivered and tested. The last quote for insurance I saw was 50% of the price of the satellite!

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