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SPY SATELLITE GROUP CAN’T GET LIFTOFF

by noahmax on August 28, 2003

The National Reconaissance Office — the government agency in charge of all U.S. spy satellites — is a mess, Aviation Week reports.
Morale is in the toilet, with too many people asking the snoops to do too many things with too little money.
To make matters worse, the agency hasn’t put any large spy satellites into orbit in five years, according to the magazine. (Although there have been other big launches, notes a Defense Tech pal in military intelligence.)
The latest launch, scheduled for last week after 18 months of delays, has been put off again. The earliest the satellite — likely a 100 foot-plus “folded eavesdropping antenna,” the magazine says — will be launched is September 6. But the Air Force notes that date could easily slip.
NRO director Peter Teets fried circuits earlier this year when he suggested that the U.S. should actively deny the use of space for intelligence purposes to any other nation at any time — not just adversaries, but even longtime allies.

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