New US military satellite launched into orbit

(AP)—An unmanned rocket has launched a new U.S. military satellite into orbit.

The Atlas V (five) rocket lifted off Tuesday afternoon from carrying the second satellite of four planned in the Space-Based Infrared System.

The spacecraft will provide early missile warning, missile defense, battlefield reconnaissance and technical intelligence for the US military and its allies.

The satellites will move at the same speed as the earth's orbit. More satellites will be added at a later date.

The full complement of satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, cost $15 billion.


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New US military satellite launched into space

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Mar 19, 2013
The satellites will move at the same speed as the earth's orbit.
I wonder what the speed of "the earth's orbit" would be. Maybe this is the least obvious way of just saying Geostationary Orbit.

Mar 19, 2013
Hmm... yes. Yet another example of the rather unprofessional editing that plagues this site.

Mar 20, 2013
Well, yes and no. A satellite can be geostationary in two ways. It can be at a distance from earth where it's powered down velocity matches earth's rotation.
Or it could be a satellite with onboard thrust that allows it to maintain a much closer orbit and gain (possibly) significant more visual information.

Mar 22, 2013
Well, yes and no. A satellite can be geostationary in two ways. It can be at a distance from earth where it's powered down velocity matches earth's rotation.
Such satellites would be said to be in the Lagrangian Points. And taken literally, that's what the article states. But for studying the Earth, as opposed to the Sun or the outer space, the Lagrangian points are no better than regular satellite orbits.

The military will want to permanently place one satellite over Russia and another over China/North Korea, so Geostationary is the orbit.

The real problem is amateurish writing here. The Lagrangian points are not geostationary.


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