Re: Lacrosse 4 Question

From: Allen Thomson (
Date: Tue Aug 22 2000 - 08:26:10 PDT

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    Phillip Clark answered,
    > On Mon, 21 Aug 2000 wrote:
    > > I have a question regarding the recent launch of Lacrosse 4: Why didn't
    > > the US government release information on the launch?
    > The answer is simple.   Bureacracy and the military mind-set !
    >I am aware that the case for releasing the orbital data for all classified
    >USA objects has been put to The Powers That Be on the basis that anyone
    >can get orbital data via groups like this and other on-line
    Speaking of such, the 15 May 2000 article in Time magazine has produced an
    interesting follow-up in
     Most of the article is a thoroughly ignorable mishmash, but it contains
    some comments from a congressional intelligence staffer (I think I know who
    it is -- a former NRO officer now working on the Hill who occasionally
    carries water for her ex-colleagues) that indicate Washington officialdom is
    still being fed the "evil amateurs endanger US national security" line.  The
    fact that the putatively secret orbital elements are being discovered by
    less than a dozen people working part-time with star charts and stopwatches
    is carefully not addressed.
    Particularly startling is the staffer's statement, "Space war is a reality
    we need to confront. We know China and Russia are working on lasers that can
    blind our satellites. By publicly broadcasting their location, we make their
    job easy -- point and shoot."  I, perhaps naively, would have thought China
    and Russia, having procured laser ASAT weapons, could have come up with a
    few sets of star charts, stop watches, and lawn chairs of their own.
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