By Steve Kates/Dr. Sky
August 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm
A very unique satellite was launched on May 1, 2017 with the help of SpaceX.
This satellite was part of a classified mission that took a new type of payload into space, identified as USA 276 (known officially as NROL 76 and COSPAR No. 2017-022A).
This launch is part of an ever-growing number of spacecraft thought to be associated with the National Security Agency and National Reconnaissance Office.
The satellite was placed into an orbit that brings it as close to Earth as 395.3 kilometers (perigee) and 415.8 kilometers (apogee), with an inclination of 50 degrees.
Ground-based observers noted the small spacecraft was placed in an orbit very similar to that of the International Space Station, but why?
Space experts feel the satellite is new technology that could be used to observe — up close and personal — the activity of other nations’ satellites in the event of a military or political crisis.
After it was launched, some observers said an object appeared to following and orbiting the ISS before it was placed either above or below the space station.
At its closest, USA 276 was within 6.4 kilometers of the ISS on June 3, 2017, somewhere of the south Atlantic Ocean.
Another theory as to the recent close encounter is that they may be testing a spacecraft autopilot system known as RAVEN. This system will help to create smoother rendezvous and docking platforms for future missions to the ISS.
One final note: On the day of the launch, live coverage of the spacecraft was cut 2:48 after launch as the rocket headed to space.
It was just after the first stage separated from the rocket. Sounds like they were trying to preserve some of the trajectory secrets.
Here is a video on the future of the topic of space warfare.
China and Russia have made great progress on the development of space warfare technologies. The sad fact is that space is the growing battlefield of the near future.
The United States has established the newest branch of its military, the Space Force.
Here is additional information on the Space Force.
Here is the latest information on the U.S Space Command.
The threat of warfare moving to the next realm, space, is a very serious concern for all.
The other related area of concern for all of us, is the subject of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and how that can wipe out our national electric grid, space-based GPS systems and the threat to our own way of digital life.
The work of Dr. Peter Vincent Pry should be made available to all, as he is one of the best experts on the subject matter of how EMP will damage or destroy our way of life, from a surprise attack from a low or high altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon in space.
Here is an excerpt from some of Pry’s work on the subject:
Nuclear HEMP attack is part of the military doctrines, plans and exercises of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran for a revolutionary new way of warfare against military forces and civilian critical infrastructures by cyber, sabotage, and HEMP.
Significantly, because HEMP attack entails detonating a nuclear weapon at such high altitude that no blast or other prompt effects injurious to humans are delivered, only the HEMP that immediately damages only electronics, potential adversaries do not appear to regard nuclear HEMP attack as an act of nuclear warfare.
Ignorance of the military doctrines of potential adversaries and a failure of U.S. strategic imagination, as noted in military writings of potentially hostile powers, is setting America up for a HEMP Pearl Harbor.
Russia, China, North Korea and Iran appear to regard nuclear HEMP attack as the ultimate weapon in an all-out “Cyber War” aimed at defeating U.S. and allied military forces on the battlefield, in a theater of operations, and as a means of defeating entire nations by blacking-out their electric grids and other critical infrastructures.
Russia, China, and North Korea presently have the capability to make a HEMP attack that would blackout the U.S. electric power grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures. Iran may have clandestinely developed capabilities to make a HEMP attack against the U.S. or may soon be able to do so.
Russia, China, and North Korea have developed “Super-EMP” nuclear weapons that can generate extraordinarily powerful HEMP, exceeding hardening standards for the best protected U.S. military forces.
Contrary to biased “junk science” studies by the electric power industry lobby, a nuclear HEMP attack on the U.S. would not affect only a few states, be quickly recoverable, comparable to localized blackouts caused by hurricanes. HEMP attack would cause protracted blackout of electric grids and life-sustaining critical infrastructures, imperiling national existence.
HEMP attack by a single nuclear weapon can collapse the U.S. national electric power grid.
A more likely scenario for HEMP attack by Russia, China, or North Korea might focus HEMP peak fields on U.S. nuclear forces and C3I to paralyze U.S. nuclear retaliatory capabilities, with blacking-out the U.S. national electric grid and other critical infrastructures an important additional objective, which would inevitably result from such an attack.
The HEMP threat is not merely theoretical, but well-established empirically, including by real world blackouts: “With few exceptions, the U.S. national electric grid is unhardened and untested against nuclear EMP attack. In the event of a nuclear EMP attack on the United States, a widespread protracted blackout is inevitable.” (EMP Commission Chairman, Dr. William R. Graham)
Here is more on Pry, who will be my special guest at the Dr. Sky Film Festival. The event, a screening of George Lucas’ futuristic thriller, “THX1138.”will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Chandler Alamo Drafthouse.
Here is more information.
Track satellites in space in real time here
To print your own monthly star chart, click here.
To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.
Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.