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comment by BurnTheBarricade

Interesting! What specifically do you mean by "spec" launch, like would it contain a satellite designed to deorbit or some sort of backup payload for a mass already in orbit?

Side note, that patch looks awesome. We need that guy to make some scifi-based mission patches, or something.

kleinbl00  ·  1984 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That patch is retarded. I own this one:

They got in trouble for this one:

By "spec launch" I mean SpaceX paid for the satellite "on spec" - as in, this is a Space-X funded mission in order to get the NRO to sign on with Space X. "spec work" is stuff you do for free in pursuit of future business opportunities. I mean whatever the payload is, it isn't something the NRO gives much of a shit about.

BurnTheBarricade  ·  1984 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I just think patches are cool in general. Those are two neat ones, I'd only seen the octopus. I'm a sucker for stylized art.

kleinbl00  ·  1984 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's cool. I'm a patch snob, don't mind me. This is one of my favorite books.

user-inactivated  ·  1984 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I mean whatever the payload is, it isn't something the NRO gives much of a shit about.

That is an interesting idea. Give SpaceX an old satellite sitting in the hangar and see if they can handle the launch. IF they fuck up, all you do is release data on a 10+ year old bird and can use that leak as a red herring to hide what you can actually do. And if they launch and it all works? you get an asset in space and save a ton of money on warehousing the expensive hardware.

kleinbl00  ·  1984 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're clever, dig into that Spaceflight 101 article. They think it's a leftover version of Worldview 3.

Guaranteed, a few days from now the geeks will have NROL-76's orbit. Run the numbers on an optical payload similar to that one and figure out what sort of resolution it gets at perigee.

1) Sometimes the most useful images are the oblique ones and an electrooptical bird looking sidelong is a lot harder to predict than an electrooptical bird looking straight down.

2) off-the-shelf hardware, bespoke performance is kind of a SpaceX mantra. The last KH-11 we put up cost something dumb like $8 billion; if SpaceX can demonstrate a tenth the performance at a hundredth the budget they might get paid next time.

I mean, it could be an SDS like they're suggesting. It could be NEMESIS like Ted Molczan is suggesting. But we won't really know until someone picks it up.