USA ###?

From: William Blair (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 17:57:44 PST

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    What are the objects designated as USA ###<(two or three digit number)?  Are they just
    unidentified (obviously US) satellites?  I see the Lacrosse radar imaging satellites
    listed often in the elsets, but rarely see visual imagery satellite(s) (like the KH
    series) listed.  Why is this?  Is it because they change their orbit more often or more
    radically and are lost to amateur observers?   Also, is there a list somewhere that 
    identifies which of the _many_ cosmos objects are intelligence gathering satellites?
    Sorry for the basic questions, but this is a new area for me that I haven't paid much 
    attention to before.  Until now, any bright satellite, flasher, or NOSS formation has
    been my primary source of entertainment.
    Bill Blair
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