Re: Pre-solstice spysat launches: why?

Jonathan McDowell (
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:39:02 -0500

Allen Thomson asked:

>   Why,  for the past decade, has the US launched its 
>sunsynchronous spysats in the month before the winter solstice? 

We've had technical and conspiracy theory suggestions for this;
I haven't seen anyone suggest a bureaucratic one:

4) Some crucial piece of contract paper (delivery of Titan 4?)
has to change hands
before October 1 to get the Titan launch costs counted within
the financial year to use up the budget money correctly,
and it takes about two months from this stage in the paperwork
to actually get the beast off the pad.

  - Jonathan McDowell