Re: Pre-solstice spysat launches: why?

VideoCosmos (
Tue, 31 Dec 1996 13:56:19 +0300 (MSK)


At 10:39 30.12.1996 -0500, Jonathan McDowell wrote:

>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.

Here in USSR, there always have been one more explanation
why important payloads are launched in December: the need to
fulfil the year plan and launch the bird before Dec.31 as ordered
by the Central Committee and Council of Ministers.

Igor Lissov