Imaging Spacecraft [See August Sky & Telescope]

John Pike (
Thu, 27 Jun 1996 16:40:05 -0400

The long-awaited piece by Ron Dantowitz for Boston Museum of Science has 
finally hit the streets, and I would say that the wait was worth it.

The good news is that this is a high-visibility pitch for visual 
satellite tracking and imaging, and that some reasonably impressive 
results are displayed in the form of an image of STS docked with Mir -- 
these results using a 12 inch scope seem not terribly less impressive 
than those published images obtained using much larger apertures.

The key to the whole process seems to have been their proprietary C-sat 
software, and no mention is made of whether this software can be made 
available to others. However, their website at

does allow as how this nice little package is on the market, and a real 
bargain at only $99, so I am hopeful that lotsa folks will lay hands on 

I am also hopeful that some of these folks will notice their remark 

      "... there are more than a few top-secret spy satellites up
      there. Some -- telescopes perhaps -- apear cylindrical, about 15  
      to 20 meters long, with solar panels."

I also hope that there are perhaps one or two adventurous souls who are 
predisposed to not take counsel of their remark:

     "In the interest of avoiding a massive tax audit, that's all       
    I'll say on the topic!"

For our satellite design analysis effort, viz

we have an ongoing interest in getting some pix of blackbirds. It is not 
a question of whether, it is just a question of who and when.

John Pike
Federation of American Scientists
 CyberStrategy Project   
 Intelligence Reform Project
 Military Analysis Network
 Space Policy Project    

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
  - Jefferson