It’s again safe to sunbathe naked

U.S. officials are unable to
communicate with an expensive experimental U.S. spy satellite
launched last year by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office
(NRO), a defense official and another source familiar with the
matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Efforts are continuing to reestablish communication with
the classified satellite, which cost hundreds of millions of
dollars, but “the prognosis is not great at this point,” said
the defense official, who asked not to be identified.

“They have not yet declared it a total loss. There are
still some additional steps that can be taken to restore
communication,” the official added, noting some satellites had
been recovered in similar situations in the past.

The official said the problems were substantial and
involved multiple systems, adding that U.S. officials were
working to reestablish contact with the satellite because of
the importance of the new technology it was meant to test and
demonstrate.

The other source said the satellite had been described to
him as “a comprehensive failure.”

There was no suggestion by either of the sources that the
satellite had been purposely damaged as part of a terrorist
attack. Another government official said he had no information
about any attacks on U.S. satellites.

The National Reconnaissance Office, which designs, builds
and operates reconnaissance satellites for the U.S. military
and intelligence communities, had no comment.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics, said the satellite in
question could be a classified NRO satellite launched into
space on December 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California, which did not appear to be part of any “existing
pattern.”

The NRO satellite identified only as L-21 was the first
ever launched by the newly merged rocket launch units of Boeing
Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp..

Print Story: Expensive new U.S. spy satellite not working: sources on Yahoo! News

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