[lit-ideas] Fear Satellites that Spy on Satellites that Spy on Satellites

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 12:03:12 -0500

Spy Satellites That Spy On Satellites: First Photos
The XSS-11, an Air Force satellite that can automatically track and orbit around other objects in space, downloads its first pictures to the public.

By Dawn Stover | October 2005

XSS-11 was launched in April and has since conducted numerous "proximity operations"—approaching and maneuvering around the spent Minotaur rocket stage at distances as close as 500 meters (the distance at which this photo was taken, about a third of a mile). Over the next year, the spacecraft will rendezvous with several other U.S.-owned dead or inactive objects in space.

The purpose of the XSS-11 program is to demonstrate the capability of microsatellites to approach and observe objects in space. Someday microsatellites could be used to repair and resupply larger satellites, which currently must be abandoned if they malfunction or run out of fuel.


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