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Space United States Science

US Launches Largest Spy Satellite Ever 213

Ponca City, We Love You writes " reports that over the weekend, a giant booster – a Delta 4 Heavy rocket — carrying a secret new spy satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office roared into space to deliver into orbit what one reconnaissance official has touted as 'the largest satellite in the world.' The Delta 4 Heavy rocket is the biggest unmanned rocket currently in service and has 2 million pounds of thrust, capable of launching payloads of up to 24 tons to low-Earth orbit and 11 tons toward the geosynchronous orbits used by communications satellites. The mammoth vehicle is created by taking three Common Booster Cores — the liquid hydrogen-fueled motor that forms a Delta 4-Medium's first stage — and strapping them together to form a triple-barrel rocket, and then adding an upper stage. The exact purpose of the new spy satellite NROL-32 is secret, but is widely believed to be an essential eavesdropping spacecraft that requires the powerful lift provided by the Delta 4-Heavy to reach its listening post. 'I believe the payload is the fifth in the series of what we call Mentor spacecraft, a.k.a. Advanced Orion, which gather signals intelligence from inclined geosynchronous orbits,' says Ted Molczan, a respected sky-watcher who keeps tabs on orbiting spacecraft. Earlier models of the series included an unfurling dish structure about 255 feet in diameter with a total spacecraft mass of about 5,953.5 pounds, costing about $750 million and designed to monitor specific points or objects of interest such as ballistic missile flight test telemetry."
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US Launches Largest Spy Satellite Ever

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  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:35PM (#34309330)

    That's no Moon.

  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:38PM (#34309368) Homepage Journal
    ...until it was successfully launched.
  • by He who knows ( 1376995 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:38PM (#34309372)
    yet another nearly redundant cold war era satelite is now in orbit.
  • by slowhand ( 191637 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:40PM (#34309406)

    I like big boosters and I can not lie
    You other brothers can't deny
    That when a rocket flys in with an itty bitty thruster
    And a round thing in your face
    You get sprung, wanna pull out your tough
    'Cause you notice that booster was stuffed
    Deep in the propellant she's wearing
    I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
    Oh baby, I wanna get with you
    And take your picture
    My homeboys tried to warn me
    But that booster you got makes me so horny
    Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin
    You say you wanna get in my Benz?
    Well, use me, use me
    'Cause you ain't that average groupie
    I've seen them dancin'
    To hell with romancin'
    She's sweat, wet,
    Got it goin' like a turbo 'Vette
    I'm tired of magazines
    Sayin' flat boosters are the thing
    Take the average black man and ask him that
    She gotta pack much back
    So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
    Has your spacefriend got the booster? (Hell yeah!)
    Tell 'em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
    Shake that healthy booster!
    Baby got back!

  • by OfficialReverendStev ( 988479 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @03:59PM (#34309638)
    ... you know... the moon...?
  • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:05PM (#34309702) Journal

    ...that's my stash of CHEESE!

  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:10PM (#34309762) Homepage

    Now we can see your junk from orbit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:16PM (#34309832)

    It amazes me that so many allegedly "educated" people have fallen so quickly and so hard for a fraudulent fabrication of such laughable proportions. The very idea that a gigantic ball of rock happens to orbit our planet, showing itself in neat, four-week cycles -- with the same side facing us all the time -- is ludicrous. Furthermore, it is an insult to common sense and a damnable affront to intellectual honesty and integrity. That people actually believe it is evidence that the liberals have wrested the last vestiges of control of our public school system from decent, God-fearing Americans (as if any further evidence was needed! Daddy's Roommate? God Almighty!)

    Documentaries such as Enemy of the State have accurately portrayed the elaborate, byzantine network of surveillance satellites that the liberals have sent into space to spy on law-abiding Americans. Equipped with technology developed by Handgun Control, Inc., these satellites have the ability to detect firearms from hundreds of kilometers up. That's right, neighbors .. the next time you're out in the backyard exercising your Second Amendment rights, the liberals will see it! These satellites are sensitive enough to tell the difference between a Colt .45 and a .38 Special! And when they detect you with a firearm, their computers cross-reference the address to figure out your name, and then an enormous database housed at Berkeley is updated with information about you.

    Of course, this all works fine during the day, but what about at night? Even the liberals can't control the rotation of the Earth to prevent nightfall from setting in (only Joshua was able to ask for that particular favor!) That's where the "moon" comes in. Powered by nuclear reactors, the "moon" is nothing more than an enormous balloon, emitting trillions of candlepower of gun-revealing light. Piloted by key members of the liberal community, the "moon" is strategically moved across the country, pointing out those who dare to make use of their God-given rights at night!

    Yes, I know this probably sounds paranoid and preposterous, but consider this. Despite what the revisionist historians tell you, there is no mention of the "moon" anywhere in literature or historical documents -- anywhere -- before 1950. That is when it was initially launched. When President Josef Kennedy, at the State of the Union address, proclaimed "We choose to go to the moon", he may as well have said "We choose to go to the weather balloon." The subsequent faking of a "moon" landing on national TV was the first step in a long history of the erosion of our constitutional rights by leftists in this country. No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

  • Article Posted by Soulskill on Monday November 22, @01:33PM.
    Death Star quote posted by dmomo on Monday November 22, @01:35PM.

    Two minutes? We're slipping.

  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:44PM (#34310152) Homepage Journal

    No longer can we hide from our government when the sun goes down.

    Apocryphal story, but worth telling:

    Back in the 1800s, a dignitary once asked a prominent Huron chief, "Do you know why the sun never sets on the British Empire?"

    The chief thought for a moment, then replied, "Because God doesn't trust your Queen in the dark."

  • Re:Oops (Score:5, Funny)

    by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:49PM (#34310204) Homepage Journal

    That be like a programmer bragging "I made a printer driver that was 4 GIGS, biggest print driver EVER!".

    A 4 Gigabyte printer driver? Really? Please have your friend contact me immediately!

    Snidely Earnest
    HR Manager
    - Hewlett Packard

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 22, 2010 @04:50PM (#34310210) Homepage Journal

    When Seven of Nine's husband Jack was running against Barack Obama for the Illinois US Senate seat, he was caught up in a sex scandal and the Republicans searched for a replacement. They found a guy from Maryland, a black fellow who'd never set foot in Illinois before.

    A comedian said (and sorry, I've forgotten the guy's name), "Those Republicans! First they can't find Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, then they couldn't find WMDs in Iraq, and now thay can't even find a black man in Chicago!"

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @05:04PM (#34310356) Homepage Journal

    I know I was making a Colossus assumption.

  • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Monday November 22, 2010 @08:09PM (#34312278) Journal

    You're crazy. The DOD doesn't need to be cut. NASA doesn't need to be cut. Taxes need to be cut.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2010 @08:35PM (#34312478)

    can you give me the phone of your dealer ? i want to buy the drugs you are taking too


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