View Full Version : Counting US satellites

03 Feb 04,, 07:05
How many active satellites does US have?

I read from one source that US has over 600 satellites. I was taken back by that fact but later I started thinking, "what if he meant that was the total number of satellites that US have sent up to space over the last 40 years?"

How many active photorecon satellites does US have? So far from looking at the FAS site, I have discovered 2 active KH-11 and 3 KH-12(Improved Crystal)satellites.

I thought that US would have at least 60 active spy satellites in orbit right now.

Can anyone care to correct me and the figures?

03 Feb 04,, 12:06
im sure they do but they wont tell us that they have spy satilites up there watching what we are doing. kinda scary almost.

Franco Lolan
01 Oct 04,, 01:48
no way US has 600 milit sats. I'm concerned about if US could replenish Sats during war in case ASAT weapons launched by China or Russia took them out.

Asim Aquil
02 Oct 04,, 23:14
What I wanted to know was, aren't countries allowed to shoot down spy sats? Like they shoot down spy planes?

If no, then can other countries launch spy sats and spy the US too?

Franco Lolan
03 Oct 04,, 04:59
I am unsure of the legal status of spy sats: I am pretty sure one of the Cold War treaties dealt w/ banning of space warfare. However, even if not, shooting down a spy sat would be tantamount to a declaration of war; consequently, nations don't shoot them down. There are a number of ASAT weapons that Russia has and China most likely has some operational by now as well.

The 1991 Gulf War, the 1998 NATO intervention in Kosovo, the 2001 war against terrorism in Afghanistan, and the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom all showed the great potential of space-based reconnaissance and surveillance systems in the future warfare. In addition, Washington’s determination to pursue the national missile defence (NMD) system has shown that the US is seeking to undertake asymmetric operations by exploiting various space technologies that its opponents do not possess. All these have driven China to seek the uses of its space programme for military purposes.

Meanwhile China's military space programme includes at least one dedicated military telecommunications satellite, two civilian/military telecommunications satellites, one imagery intelligence satellite, one maritime surveillance satellite, and two experimental navigation and positioning satellites. In addition, China has taken part in the EU's Galileo Satellite Network, which is currently under development as an alternative to the US Global Position System (GPS[huge move for China!]). Although the current Chinese military space programme is far behind US, Russia and Europe, its future potential should not be underestimated.-from Sino Defence

Other nations spy on the US all the time.

Does anyone know DoD plans for replenishing satellites in war? b/c US has sats, they're great, but if they went down, it would be VERY detrimental.