reconnaissance satellite

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reconnaissance satellite,

artificial satellitesatellite, artificial,
object constructed by humans and placed in orbit around the earth or other celestial body (see also space probe). The satellite is lifted from the earth's surface by a rocket and, once placed in orbit, maintains its motion without further rocket propulsion.
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 launched by a country to provide intelligence information on the military activities of foreign countries. There are four major types. Early-warning satellites detect enemy missile launchings. Nuclear-explosion detection satellites are designed to detect and identify nuclear explosions in space. Photo-surveillance satellites provide photographs of enemy military activities, e.g., the deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). There are two subtypes: close-look satellites provide high-resolution photographs that are returned to earth via a reentry capsule, whereas area-survey satellites provide lower-resolution photographs that are transmitted to earth via radio. Later satellites have combined these two functions. Other satellites use radar to provide images of enemy activity when there is cloud cover or it is dark. Electronic-reconnaissance (ferret) satellites pickup and record radio and radar transmissions while passing over a foreign country. The United States, Russia (before 1991, the USSR), and other nations have launched numerous reconnaissance satellites since 1960.

Bibliography

See E. D. Conway, An Introduction to Satellite Image Interpretation (1997); P. Taubman, Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage (2003).

References in periodicals archive ?
The fruits of Dienesch's laborious research appeared in his 2006 doctoral thesis, "Reach for the Sky Partner: The Development of Spy Satellites during the Eisenhower Administration.
The Defense Ministry presumably has an interest in foreign spy satellites.
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The Ofek 9 was blasted into orbit by an Israeli-made rocket on Tuesday, from the Palmachim air base south of Tel Aviv, joining three other Israeli spy satellites in space.
Police refused to confirm reports a US spy satellite or specialist army teams from Northern Ireland were used in the search.
WASHINGTON: Debris from an obliterated US spy satellite is being tracked over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans but appears to be too small to cause any damage on Earth, a senior military officer said yesterday.
A MISSILE shot down an out-of-control US spy satellite, officials said yesterday.
Pacific Ocean as it travelled at more than 17,000mph China said yesterday it was on the alert for possible harmful fallout from the US shootdown of an ailing spy satellite and urged Washington to promptly release data about the action.
THE US yesterday announced it is planning to shoot down an out-of-control spy satellite expected to hit the Earth early next month.
A DEAD US spy satellite in a deteriorating orbit is expected to hit the Earth during the first week of March.
IRELAND'S top stargazers have warned that debris from a doomed US spy satellite could land anywhere from Cork to Donegal.
AN AMATEUR astronomer has captured the first image of a top-secret US spy satellite which is expected to crash to Earth in the next few weeks.