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February 23, 2008

 By Robert Windrem ... Thanks for him  

Aug. 8, 1998 - For more than 35 years, spy satellites have roamed the skies 100 miles above the Earth. They’ve become increasingly powerful over the years — but intelligence experts say the real revolution in satellite imagery today is taking place on the ground, not in the skies.

TRAVELING AT MACH 25, they pass over every spot on the face of the Earth twice a day, grabbing digital snapshots of places that the CIA — and the policymakers and military officers it serves — want to see. From missile fields in China or Russia to environmental disaster areas in the Sahel, the spy satellites provide a steady stream of black-and-white images.

Much has been written about these billion-dollar “birds,” five of which are overhead on any given day. Even though their design, code names and capability are classified beyond top secret, there have been enough leaks over the years to sketch out some basic information about them.

Three are “visible light” satellites, the most recent of which resemble the Hubble Space Telescope and were built by the same contractor at the same Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. They are known in the spy trade as “Keyhole-class” satellites. And they have a resolution of 5 to 6 inches, meaning they can distinguish an object that small, but no smaller, on the ground. Two other satellites are radar-imaging, built by Lockheed Martin in Watertown, Colo. Their resolution is about 3 feet.

While satellites cannot read license plates, they can tell if a car has one. While they cannot tell a mullah by the length of his beard, they can help analysts figure out how many people are chanting along with him at a street demonstration. And while they cannot hover over an area and provide real-time images, other “assets” such as unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, can do that.

Some of these Satellites are useful,Ebaby! members can see how our world became small, we have to realize that,so we can put a plan to travel to another country,any where we go , there will be something above us , eyes inspecting , made by brainy scientists, only specific countries have these technologies, have the minds but can't do it because of the world's system. These last paragragh was added by me ,it doesn't express Robert's openion .


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