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US launches ‘neighbourhood watch’ satellites

US launches ‘neighbourhood watch’ satellites

Two satellites, part of a previously classified programme, have been launched aboard a Delta 4 rocket [Credit: Nasa]
Two satellites, part of a previously classified programme, have been launched aboard a Delta 4 rocket [Credit: Nasa]

The satellites, part of the recently declassified Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP), were injected into orbit about 35,970km away from the Earth, right below the geostationary ring that houses the majority of the world’s telecommunication spacecraft.

General William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, likened GSSAP to a "neighborhood watch program" that will keep tabs on other countries' satellites.

The programme "will bolster our ability to discern when adversaries attempt to avoid detection and to discover capabilities they may have which might be harmful to our critical assets at these higher altitudes," Shelton said during a speech in February that unveiled the once-classified programme.

 

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July 30, 2014


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