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Delta 4-Heavy's hush-hush payload found and identified
Spaceflight Now ^ | 1/24/2010 | Justin Ray

Posted on 01/24/2011 5:54:22 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

The clandestine cargo carried into polar orbit Thursday aboard the first California-launched Delta 4-Heavy rocket was a crucial replacement satellite for the nation's surveillance and security network, amateur sky-watchers say.The sophisticated imaging bird follows a long line of Keyhole-type spacecraft that provide ultra-high resolution imagery for the U.S. intelligence community, according to hobbyists who track orbiting satellites with remarkable precision.

Ever since the Delta 4-Heavy rocket fired away from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the amateur observers have been hunting for the new satellite to figure out its identity. The conventional wisdom before the launch said the payload would fly into the Keyhole satellite constellation, and observations from the past few days proved the guess correct.

(Excerpt) Read more at spaceflightnow.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: delta4; heavyrocket; keyhole; nro; satellite; spysatellite; vandenbergafb

1 posted on 01/24/2011 5:54:25 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: Army Air Corps

Ping


2 posted on 01/24/2011 5:57:21 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Jet Jaguar

watch the bird take flight from Harris Grade....Anhyone else on site?


3 posted on 01/24/2011 6:11:47 PM PST by pointsal
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To: Jet Jaguar

watch the bird take flight from Harris Grade....Anhyone else on site?


4 posted on 01/24/2011 6:11:53 PM PST by pointsal
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld

5 posted on 01/24/2011 7:04:22 PM PST by B4Ranch (Do NOT remain seated until this ride comes to a full and complete stop! We're going the wrong way!)
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To: ErnstStavroBlofeld
They put up one very big bird.

Don't be surprised if it's trajectory takes it over Iran/PAK several times a day.

6 posted on 01/24/2011 8:30:58 PM PST by Mariner (USS Tarawa, VQ3, USS Benjamin Stoddert, NAVCAMS WestPac, 7th Fleet, Navcommsta Puget Sound)
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