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comment by am_Unition

That sort of resolution isn't able to be collected over a wide swath of area whatsoever. The question of how the U.S. knew exactly where to point the satellite to catch the launch site while it was still smoldering is why the Iranians aren't sleeping well right now.





kleinbl00  ·  310 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Nobody read that, but it talks about how the Gulf War was kind of a clusterfuck in no small part because we had permanently lost our ability to do wide-area surveillance with the loss of the last KH-9 on the pad in '86:

We've got seismometers all over south Asia. Considering the KH-11 got the shot of the facility after it had passed overhead, it's likely that we knew the launch was imminent (OSINT nerds on Twitter noticed that we had ELINT planes up ahead of the launch), detected the explosion on the seismic network and got the shot as soon as the information made it to the NRO.

By the bye, Spaceflight Now has this awesome comparison between a Planet cubesat, World 2 and the USA-224 image on the right.