US launches 'anti-terror' satellite
The satellite can track individuals on the ground
The United States has launched a satellite which intelligence analysts say
will probably be used to gather information in the global campaign against
The Titan IV rocket was launched from Vandenberg airforce base in California
on behalf of the US National Reconnaissance Office, a secretive agency
specialising in providing information for the CIA and the National Security
The rocket is believed to have been carrying a top secret KH-11 spy
satellite - that could monitor Afghanistan ahead of an expected military
The US Air Force refused to comment on the payload, but the NRO builds and
operates America's spy satellites and specialises in gathering pictures and
electronic data, such as telephone conversations on the ground.
Experts from Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine said the satellite
was likely to be equipped with a digital camera able to pick out objects as
small as 10 cm (4 inches) across on the ground.
Orbiting hundreds of miles above the earth the 15 tonne KH-11 is capable of
tracking small groups of people walking on the ground as well as vehicle and
It can monitor conversations and even spot campfires at night using infrared
Identifying the enemy
According to Aviation Magazine such information could be used to monitor the
movements of Taleban groups and refugees to help allied forces separate
potentially hostile groups from "non-combatants".
The United States is believed to have spy satellites over Afghanistan already
as US forces continue to build up nearby ahead of expected military strikes.
Before 1996 the NRO did not publicly disclose the launches of its satellites.
--- --- --- --- ---
Useless hypotheses, etc.:
consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment
We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:12 MDT