Saturday, January 17, 2009
secret satellite mission feeds spacewar worries
from danger room: An American missile-warning satellite has died, more than 22,000 miles up. So now, the U.S. is sending a pair of mini-spacecraft on a top secret operation to investigate, Craig Covault reports for Spaceflight Now. If the mission is successful, analysts say, it'll have a global impact. Because the same technologies used to investigate a friendly, out-of-service satellite could also be used to help take out an enemy orbiter... "If this story was that China had secretly developed inspection satellites and orbited them around one of their failing satellites, what would be the reaction from the U.S.? I'm betting on hysteria," Hitchens adds. "It behooves the U.S. government to be more transparent itself if it wishes others to open up about their programs; doing this in secret only adds to the suspicions of other nations [about] U.S. intentions and provides political cover for others who may not have benign goals in mind."
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