www.SkyReport.com - used with permission
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) said last week that an experimental U.S. spy satellite is a total loss after it failed to respond to repeated attempts at contact. The office said it will allow the satellite to slowly drop from orbit and burn up as it re-enters the atmosphere.
Launched on December 14, the classified L-21 Lockheed Martin-built satellite was reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars but had been out of touch since reaching its low-earth orbital position. The satellite's gradual decline out of orbit will span decades, officials said, and should pose no threat to people below*.
Now, it seems, the government will have to test aspects of new technologies meant to be conducted on L-21 by instead piggybacking them onto other satellites during the next few years. Officials at the NRO said the failure was troubling because other countries are rapidly forging ahead with developing new satellite capabilities.
*Ed. note: I would assume that by "people below", the NRO, whose "hundreds of millions of dollars"
worth of experimental $py $atellite is totally out of control, is referring to the 6.6 billion humans who
inhabit almost every corner of the planet. Anyone for an office betting pool on when and where this
dead bird is going to hit? Perhaps the space-junk tracking computers buried deep in Cheyenne
Mountain (NORAD) could play "Play MISTY for me" and rerack the pilot episode of "Dead Like Me"
when this billion-dollar bad boy becomes a blazing fireball as it re-enters Earth's atmosphere.
More about spy sats @ Space.com