Eyes in the Sky
Did you know that right now a spy satellite might be passing overhead about 300 kilometres above you? While Australia doesn’t have any of its own, countries such as Japan, Russia, Israel and the US all have specially equipped reconnaissance satellites snooping in the skies above.
Spy satellites have been used for about 50 years by governments, originally mainly to see images of buildings and roads. However, now they can also listen in to secret conversations far below.
In fact, in November 2010 the US launched the largest spy satellite ever known. A huge Delta IV rocket carried the satellite known only as USA-223 into a high orbit. NASA won’t say much about it but it’s thought to have an antenna diameter of 100 metres for listening in on important electronic signals.
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