Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

US and Australia to launch second joint spy satellite from site in New Zealand

Some in space industry bewildered by Australia’s lack of fanfare about the launch of the satellites, which will be used to collect intelligence for allied nations

Guardian, Tory Shepherd, Tue 2 Aug 2022

A second spy satellite built by Australia and the United States is scheduled for liftoff on Tuesday from a launch site in New Zealand.

The first of the two satellites, which will be used to collect intelligence for the allied nations, launched two weeks ago.

The Australian Department of Defence did not announce the successful launch of the first satellite or the launch date of the second.

US spy agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, has been celebrating the “Antipodean Adventure”, which features a crocodile, a rocket and an eagle on its logo.

Some in the space industry are bewildered by the lack of information and fanfare on the Australian side.

Malcolm Davis, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s senior analyst and resident space expert, said there is a “very different culture” in the US military, which actively promotes its work, and the Australian military, which is “closed off”.

“It’s not just these particular satellites, it’s an attitude within Defence that they’re very closed off,” he said.

“The Americans are very forward. You only need to look at how they support movies like Top Gun: Maverick. It’s a very different culture, and it’s a frustrating one down here.”

…………………New Zealand’s Rocket Lab is providing the rockets to deliver the classified payloads into orbit from the launch site on the Māhia Peninsula.https://interactive.guim.co.uk/maps/embed/aug/2022-08-01T01:42:57.html

A Defence spokesperson said the department partnered with the NRO for “two space missions as part of a broad range of cooperative satellite activities”.

As defence minister, Peter Dutton announced Australia’s intention to work with the NRO to build a “more capable, integrated, and resilient space architecture designed to provide global coverage in support of a wide range of intelligence mission requirements”.

Earlier this year he announced a separate plan to develop a surveillance satellite with Queensland company Gilmour Space Technologies, due to launch next year.

The NRO projects are in the lead-up to Defence Project 799. The federal government has pledged $500m to DEF-799, to “improve Australia’s space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support Australian Defence Force operations around the world and at home”.

“The next goal is to build our own satellites,” Davis said. “So these are important steps … these are like interim tests that we’ve codeveloped with the Americans.”

The Defence spokesperson said details about the satellite payloads and missions were “protected”.

“Defence will continue to enhance Australia’s ability to generate military effects utilising the space domain,” they said.

“This will be achieved through efforts that include developing capabilities resilient in denied environments and assuring access to space.”

The NROL-199 launch was initially scheduled for 22 July but was delayed due to software issues.  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/aug/02/us-hails-antipodean-adventure-and-australia-silent-as-second-spy-satellite-set-to-launch-from-new-zealand?CMP=share_btn_tw

August 8, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, weapons and war

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