back to article Rocket hiccup puts US spy sats in wrong orbit

In an expensive technical mishap, a brace of top-secret American spy satellites was fired into incorrect orbits last Friday. According to a report in Aviation Week and Space Technology, the two spacecraft in question were ultra-classified ocean surveillance jobs, described as "critical to tracking ships that may conceal al …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for the fireworks?

    What's this then? Rocket science?

  2. TBushmaker

    Lockheed Martin Again!

    Lockheed Martin built the solar arrays for the ISS.

    Boeing integrated the solar array assembly with the ISS components.

    Was the reset/shutdown of the ISS computer systems a possibility?

    WHO tested all this? WHO reviewed the tests?

    WHO is investigating to find the cause of the unexpected result (multiple computer failure)?

  3. darryl

    Also dropped a load over Iran?

    It seems that this failed Atlas may have also caused some fireworks over Iran last week...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ah: after it's finally manouvered into position, just send the shuttle tanker to fill 'er up with more gas.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really clever stuff, what?

    "ships that may conceal al Qaeda terrorists"

    Suppose that narrows it down a bit.

    Wonderful; I wonder how the signals vary between Al Qaeda terrorists, IRA terrorists, Basque terrorists, good Americans and the rest of us.

    George Orwell was just a few years too early in his forecasts.

  6. Richard Hebert

    Yup .. them again

    That's not a first ..

    Lockheed Martin is also the principal contractor

    in the coast guard DeepWater disaster ..

    Most of those documents are kept hard to find

    for obvious reasons once you know them but available

    for read and chuckles here :

    Have someone with a bucket of cold water around when you read..

    that might save you from dying laughing.

  7. heystoopid

    What if?

    What if , the debris field from the recent Chinese Killer Satellite tests shreds these baby keyholes or critically damaged the final Centaur Stage , given the slant eccentric orbit required for it to function in the manner intended , now that would be one of life's true ironies , given NORAD's failed history of telling the real truth since the days of the .old Sky Lab's final fiery death plunge from orbit!

    Life is always full of ironies!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intelligence, news and misinformation

    Presumably this got into the public domain because those who provided this snippet wanted someone else to believe it. Genuine intelligence isn't what you give to your enemy in connection with spying hardware.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about repurposing the satellites...

    I have been consistently disappointed with the quality of Google images in my home town. Why not use the little lost satellites to give me the privilege of snooping my neighbours' rooftops and backyard shenanigans?

  10. Paul Hurst

    RE:Really clever stuff, what?

    "'ships that may conceal al Qaeda terrorists'

    Suppose that narrows it down a bit."

    Well ... it doesn't really matter what their looking for, so long as you say it combats terrorism or paedophiles it gets instant approval.

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