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US Military Blocks Data On Incoming Meteors

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the summon-bruce-willis dept.

Space 172

Hugh Pickens writes "Nature reports that the US military has abruptly ended an informal arrangement that allowed scientists access to data on incoming meteors from classified surveillance satellites, dealing a blow to the astronomers and planetary scientists who used the information to track space rocks. 'These systems are extremely useful,' says astronomer Peter Brown, at the University of Western Ontario. 'I think the scientific community benefited enormously.' Meteor data came from the Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite network consisting of infrared satellites in geosynchronous orbit to monitor the globe for missile launches or atmospheric nuclear blasts, forming the principal component of the United States' ballistic missile early-warning system. The satellites' effectiveness was demonstrated during Desert Storm, when DSP detected the launch of Iraqi Scud missiles and provided warning to civilian populations and coalition forces in Israel and Saudi Arabia. As a side benefit, the satellites could also precisely detect the time, position, altitude and brightness of meteors as they entered Earth's atmosphere, information the military didn't consider particularly useful, or classified. 'It was being dropped on the floor,' says former Air Force captain Brian Weeden. Although the reason for ending the arrangement remains unclear, Weeden notes that it coincides with the launch of a new generation of surveillance satellites and speculates that the Pentagon may not want details of the new satellites' capabilities to be made public, or it may simply lack the expensive software needed to handle classified and declassified data simultaneously. 'The decision may have been made that it was perhaps too difficult to disclose just these data.'"

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Dare I say it? (0, Offtopic)

moj0e (812361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424125)

First Post?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424215)

This is "restor[ing] science to its rightful place"?

What are they trying to cover up?

Chicken Little (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424135)

I would too, do you want people running around like Chicken Little?

Re:Chicken Little (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424877)

Only if Arrowsmith provides the background music.

Re:Chicken Little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425325)

-1 Spelling?

Re:Chicken Little (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425377)

Arrowsmith? [wikipedia.org]

"Blocks"? (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424175)

From TFS, the military stopped giving out unclassified information that was a byproduct of a military function - a windfall.

"Blocks" means that the information would flow but for the military's action.

The editors (snicker) should have used "stops" - more ambiguous and yet more accurate at the same time. But I guess that wouldn't generate the clicks, now would it?

Re:"Blocks"? (4, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424327)

Agreed.

It's a shame, and obviously we don't know exactly what the situation is, but if speculation is correct... should I really be upset that the military doesn't want to allow the world to black-box the capabilities of its missile detection systems? Especially with a wacky bastard in Korea lobbing his test missiles in our direction?

Re:"Blocks"? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424925)

To add another voice of agreement: for all the times I've seen "national security" thrown about in order to censor something that has nothing to do with the subject, this is one of the first times I would say that it absolutely could be a matter pertaining to the security of the nation (and in this case they didn't even use the term!). It is a shame, but it's also very much understandable.

Re:"Blocks"? (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425479)

More importantly, this is one of the few times that I have heard of unclassified data obtained by a classified program being distributed. Seems odd that there is a reliance or expectation for this data, considering it originates with a classified satellite system, let alone which is directly related to national security.

Re:"Blocks"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425803)

Seems odd that there is a reliance or expectation for this data, considering it originates with a classified satellite system, let alone which is directly related to national security.

Generally speaking, if I am paying for something, I feel entitled to the results or products it produces.

Unfortunately thats not how the government works. I get to foot the bill but I have no say in the product lifecycle.

Re:"Blocks"? (1)

51Cats (967776) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426227)

I remember the first gamma ray bursts were detected by military satellites and they released that information to the public.

Re:"Blocks"? (2, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425695)

I think "the situation" is that we have a US Navy destroyer tailing a North Korean freighter potentially carrying illegal missiles to a rouge military dictatorship, and North Korea has threatened to fire it's long range missiles (which they've recently been testing, along with detonating a nuclear bomb underground, all in the last 30-60 days) if we board or attempt to intercept. North Korea is looking for a fight, and it's not at all surprising that the US military has turned off the tap for public viewing of a missile tracking system.
 
They selectively "detuned" civilian GPS during the gulf war. It's not at all shocking that they've cut off public access recently. If the Bush administration allowed this, then it's likely Obama will open the taps once the situation is resolved.

Re:"Blocks"? (1)

Khomar (529552) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426175)

Funny about North Korea, but I wonder if it could be the other way around. With everyone expecting a missile attack from North Korea, who would be able to say whether a strike on American soil actually originated from there? With outside access to this kind of information being limited, we would have to trust our government and a few other nations with such capability that the North Koreans did, in fact, attack us. Also, don't forget that FEMA is planning major exercises around the country in late July.

Many may say that I am being too conspiratorial in this, but are there not many examples of our country doing similar things throughout history to start a war?

"I've hired you to start a war. It is a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition." Vicini, "The Princess Bride"

Re:"Blocks"? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426507)

With everyone expecting a missile attack from North Korea, who would be able to say whether a strike on American soil actually originated from there?

The Russians and Chinese, probably the British and French, possibly others.

What, you think the USA is the only country with spy satellites watching for launches?

Re:"Blocks"? (1)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424415)

Kudos to everyone in the program who provided this information so far. They had no obligation, they couldn't hope to get recognized for their work either.

Re:"Blocks"? (3, Informative)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424523)

In all fairness, the article's subheading is "Satellite information on incoming meteors is blocked."

-l

Re:"Blocks"? (2, Insightful)

ntijerino (306851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424909)

I totally agree with the parent poster. It should have read something like 'no longer shares openly.' From what I can tell, the US military was under no obligation to share the data. It isn't like the military is jamming communications channels, or otherwise blocking data that would naturally be available.

Re:"Blocks"? (2, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425361)

Although the reason for ending the arrangement remains unclear, Weeden notes that it coincides with the launch of a new generation of surveillance satellites and speculates that the Pentagon may not want details of the new satellites' capabilities to be made public, or it may simply lack the expensive software needed to handle classified and declassified data simultaneously.

My guess is that it is an oversight on the part of whoever ordered the software.

Tinfoil isn't just for Jiffy Pop anymore (5, Funny)

Torodung (31985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424179)

I assume this means the mothership is now on final approach, and we don't want those scientists causing a panic.

I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords. Advanced warning is only useful if you are against them. Join us.

--
Toro

Re:Tinfoil isn't just for Jiffy Pop anymore (0, Redundant)

rcamans (252182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424401)

Anyone ever see the movie "Independence Day"? "V?" "The Day The Earth Stood Still"? "War of the Worlds"?

Re:Tinfoil isn't just for Jiffy Pop anymore (5, Funny)

uxbn_kuribo (1146975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425039)

No, no one ever saw those movies.

Re:Tinfoil isn't just for Jiffy Pop anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425981)

Which one was "V?"

Expensive software? (0, Troll)

mossr (72445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424187)

void process_information(s_information* info) {
    if (info) {
        if (info.is_classified)
            process_secretly(info)
        else
            process_publicly(info)
    }
}

Can I have my millions now for "the expensive software needed to handle classified and declassified data simultaneously"?

Re:Expensive software? (4, Funny)

Octorian (14086) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424563)

You forgot the thousands of pages of architecture, systems engineering, regulations, requirements, and certification documents that support said code :-)

Re:Expensive software? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424607)

Congratulations, you just failed your NSA cert because you attempted to mix classified and non-classified processing in the same processor. If you want to handle classified data, a processor can only handle classified data, you cannot mix and match. In devices that are forced to mix and match (edge devices, like encryptors typically) you have to build your device in two halves and minimize the contact between the halves (typically they will be in separate metal boxes inside of the device, with a single wire connecting them. That single wire will eat up pages and pages of documentation when you try to get your device certified explaining how there is no possible way to leak information out of it (even in cases like slamming the crypto with bad traffic on the red side to cause it to slow down in some pattern that could be identified on the black side).

Your failure in design just cost your company a million dollars and several man-years of effort.

Re:Expensive software? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425015)

Even worse two MiBs will meet him in the carpark and shoot him dead with a laser pistol.

Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425227)

Who said it shared that info between processors?

If a classified-allowed process exists, it can have non-classified data on it too. It then SENDS this unclassified data to a processor that only works on unclassified data.

Or is this "multi-processor" thingy a bit hard for you?

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425369)

No, you merely underestimate the paranoid.

Re:Expensive software? (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425905)

Congratulations, you just failed your NSA cert because you attempted to mix classified and non-classified processing in the same processor. If you want to handle classified data, a processor can only handle classified data, you cannot mix and match. In devices that are forced to mix and match (edge devices, like encryptors typically) you have to build your device in two halves and minimize the contact between the halves (typically they will be in separate metal boxes inside of the device, with a single wire connecting them. That single wire will eat up pages and pages of documentation when you try to get your device certified explaining how there is no possible way to leak information out of it (even in cases like slamming the crypto with bad traffic on the red side to cause it to slow down in some pattern that could be identified on the black side). Does this mean I'm fired? Your failure in design just cost your company a million dollars and several man-years of effort.

Does this mean I'm fired?

Re:Expensive software? (2, Funny)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426075)

Your failure in design just cost your company a million dollars and several man-years of effort.

Does this mean I'm fired?

Nah, you've fulfilled government criteria for promotion.

Unless you object, you will be bumped up a level your salary will now increase by 1.5x.

Re:Expensive software? (5, Insightful)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424651)

Sure, sure, I'll just need one more quick function from you. Please write something to determine whether the high speed ballistic object that just showed up on the satellite is a missile, plane, or meteor.

Remember that size, temperature and speed will be variable within each type. Also, once you've identified the type of object, please determine classification. Accuracy of this product must be 100%.

Re:Expensive software? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425395)

Sure, sure, I'll just need one more quick function from you. Please write something to determine whether the high speed ballistic object that just showed up on the satellite is a missile, plane, or meteor.

if( coming_from_outer_space(object) ){
    object.type = TYPE_METEOR;
} else {
    object.type = TYPE_UNKNOWN;
}

Remember that size, temperature and speed will be variable within each type. Also, once you've identified the type of object, please determine classification. Accuracy of this product must be 100%.

if( object.type=TYPE_METEOR ) {
    object.isClassified = false;
} else {
    object.isClassified = true;
}

Accuracy must NOT be 100%, as long as no classified information is incorrectly handled as public data. If (some) public data is incorectly handled as classified, there should be no problem.

Terrible bug (3, Insightful)

tibman (623933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425793)

if( object.type=TYPE_METEOR ) {
        object.isClassified = false;
} else {
        object.isClassified = true;
}

You just declassified EVERYTHING, including nuclear missiles.

Re:Terrible bug (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426531)

Leave him alone, he works for Diebold.

Re:Expensive software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425607)

Why is this moderated interesting? Meteors have a fairly simple trajectory that should be easily distinguishable from the trajectory of rockets, planes, or any other objects launched from earth.

And accuracy must not be 100%, as long as no classified information leaks (i.e. sometimes wrongly hiding non-classified data would no be a problem)

Re:Expensive software? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425863)

Said function would only be needed for a real-time system. The meteor data was being gleaned from old data.

Re:Expensive software? (1)

Xeriar (456730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426019)

A meteor will not have a speed less than 11 kps outside of a capture orbit (not likely). No terrestrial-sourced object is going to reach that sort of speed with the expectation that it is going to land again.

Re:Expensive software? (1)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426127)

Remember that size, temperature and speed will be variable within each type.

Mod this post up - interesting.

My girlfriend told me that just the other day (although I think she was sparing my feelings)

Good news everyone (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424189)

Meteors are coming, everyone panic.

Re:Good news everyone (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424307)

Meteors are coming, everyone panic.

It should be noted that the system looks "down", not "up" - it only sees meteors after they've hit the atmosphere.

So if one big enough to cause substantial damage arrives, the message will be more like "MeteBOOOM!" followed by a lot of static.

Re:Good news everyone (1)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424477)

Mod parent up please before the "OMG they let the asteroids kill us" folks arrive. This isn't about tracking Near Earth Objects.

Too expensive for the US military??? (1, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424197)

That's crazy talk.

Generals! Let me help you out. Me and right wing buddies will start posting stories about how the USA is dropping its guard against meteors, and potentially large asteroid strikes, and we'll create a groundswell of support for getting this thing turned back on. If the lefties can come up with some stuff about how good it is to have this government program, then, I'm sure we can form a bipartisan consensus to get you the funding you need.

Except... (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424725)

...that, since the satellites are looking TOWARDS Earth and not AWAY from it, it'll only see objects that are actually IN Earth's atmosphere, which is FAR too late to actually GUARD anything.

Re:Except... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425123)

...that, since the satellites are looking TOWARDS Earth and not AWAY from it, it'll only see objects that are actually IN Earth's atmosphere, which is FAR too late to actually GUARD anything.

You don't understand... this is politics. Obviously, we need more satellites.

I know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424283)

...something the size of Texas is headed our way and they don't want us to know yet.

Re:I know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424467)

One Texas is bad enough, but two? My apologies to both meteor-riding and non-meteor-riding Texans.

I have a solution (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424359)

alter table SatelliteInfo add IsClassified bit not null default 1

Then update the rows for the non-Classified ones.

But seriously, "Expensive software"? Isn't most of this stuff custom-built anyway?

Re:I have a solution (3, Informative)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424699)

That's not the point. The point is if we can tell you what meteors are landing and where, it doesn't take an extensive amount of data for you to be able to pinpoint where those military satellites are in the sky. It doesn't take a lot for you to then calculate when you can be doing shit outside, and when you need to be under cover.

The data they may be collecting may end up being unclassified, but the means they're using to collect it are likely classified fairly highly. Usually this information is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classified_information_in_the_United_States#Sensitive_Compartmented_Information_.28SCI.29_and_Special_Access_Programs_.28SAP.29 [wikipedia.org]

It makes sense. If it were possible to determine the capabilities of your sensors (whether we're talking from a satellite or a human informant) by putting together the bits and pieces of their unclassified information, you've effectively leaked highly classified information to well funded and highly motivated foreign entities.

[opinion]At the end of the day, somebody is going to find out about your sensor and it's capabilities. You just do everything you can to make sure it's well past the usefulness of said sensor, so far beyond that the understanding of this information nets the "opponent" nothing[/opinion].

As for writing software that would obfuscate this information enough that it wouldn't give away the methods of gathering it - sure, it sounds simple, and on a case by case basis, I'm sure you could do it. But can you do it for every single scenario even remotely conceivably imagined under the sun, for potentially large quantities of information, with guaranteed 0% failure rate?

If so, I'm sure someone would like to hire you!

Re:I have a solution (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424905)

Satelites ain't actually invisible and they are also kinda hard to hide. What keeps me from watching the sky and telling when they pass overhead? Shouldn't take more than a few days and a halfway decent telescope to find out what's up. No pun intended.

Re:I have a solution (2, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425073)

The question is "is that space debris? is that a commercial satellite? is that even WORKING?"

On top of that, I imagine they paint the things with a paint so that the don't reflect much light (just hypothesizing here, but I know I'd do it if I were them), to make it hard to see. Also, what about during the day?

If you figure every piece of space debris is watching you, you probably won't be doing much outside, ever.

The point is, someone is trying to put together information about sensor capabilities from the unclassified data (hell, maybe even we do it to other countries, and that's why we know to protect it ourselves), and that's why the DoD decided being able to pass that shit around wasn't worth it in comparison to possibly compromising the loss of capability.

Re:I have a solution (1)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425381)

These sats are in geosynchronous orbit. In fact if the satellite launch detection system had a dark window where it wasn't getting coverage then it would be completely useless.

Re:I have a solution (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426247)

Not at all. You keep them moving, and you make sure there are enough that you have no dark window. However, angle is still important.

Re:I have a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426269)

To pass classified data to unclassified requires a specially accredited system known as a "guard". The data is checked according to sets of rules, which means that the guard has to be able to parse the data fully.

Temporary (3, Interesting)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424361)

They are most likely worried that the pictures might infer classified information or they think it had happened with the older system. Maybe you are able to map the positions of the satellites using the pictures. Its only a matter of time before things like that are figured out. The military will then likely declassify the information.

Re:Temporary (1)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424463)

The previous cynicism expressed in many previous posts notwithstanding the Pentagon probably doesn't want to reveal its sources and capabilities in this area for now, what with the NoKos, Iranians and everyone else out there trying to develop or acquire ballistic missiles.

Re:Temporary (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425821)

Not to mention the fairly recently [msn.com] demonstrated satellite killing ability on the part of the Chinese.. seems that keeping the location of new satellites secret for as long as possible would be a nice idea.

Re:Temporary (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425567)

Well of course it leaked information. After all, all an evil dictator would need to do is launch a missile, then wait to see if the launch showed up in the meteor report or if his country was turned into a glassy bowl. If the latter, try a different way of launching a missile.

On a more serious note, if you had a separate meteor detection system, you COULD identify the locations and such of the satellites by comparing your data. For instance, my satellite at location x picked up the explosion at time t.0000003, and the US satellite picked it up at t.0000006 making it .0000003 light seconds farther from the site. Or my satellite at location z is picking up meteorites that the US satellites are not, indicating that location z is probably not observed by the US satellite and therefore a good place to launch from.

The info become classified (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424367)

after the government started a new secret weapon program collecting adamantium meteors.

Re:The info become classified (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424889)

You know that really pissed me off in the movie. Being an old comic guy, the whole deal was Adamantium was an attempt at Vibranium. It just ruined the whole damn movie up until the adamantium bullet which took the movie from aweful to just plain brain rotting stupid.

How the hell can you screw up Wolverine?

Re:The info become classified (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425095)

How the hell can you screw up Wolverine?

You answered yourself: an adamantium bullet.

If that ruined the movie for anyone: you're welcome.

two words (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424373)

"north korea"

Message to scientists: (0, Troll)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424447)

Get your own damn satellites.

Re:Message to scientists: (2, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425047)

Reply from scientists: Get your own damned neutrino detectors.

Re:Message to scientists: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425077)

The scientists have been told that before [getyourowndirt.com] and didn't listen.

Re:Message to scientists: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425191)

Get your own damn satellites.

We paid for them.

"Classified" is too often abused, that includes things that perhaps should automatically belong to the General Public. Public funds used to pay for things that end up privately patented or copyrighted is also another form of stealing from the public.

Besides, if you have to hide it then you must be doing something wrong is a fairer assumption on a government then it is on a free person.

Re:Message to scientists: (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425843)

Get your own damn satellites.

We paid for them.

"Classified" is too often abused, that includes things that perhaps should automatically belong to the General Public. Public funds used to pay for things that end up privately patented or copyrighted is also another form of stealing from the public.

Besides, if you have to hide it then you must be doing something wrong is a fairer assumption on a government then it is on a free person.

Are you arguing that the satellites that detect foreign missile launches and nuclear tests aren't actually related to national security, and their results should be publicly available to other nations?

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425909)

Bullshit. Misusing "classified" is a felony, a go to federal pound me in the ass penitentiary sort of felony. Of the many things the federal government abuses, classifying information is a rare exception. Authority to classify informatino resides at very high civilian levels (not in the military) and we are specifically prohibited from hiding embarassing information under the classification system.
Many of us in the military are uncomfortable with the president's decision to classify pictures from Abu Graib. Legally, the pictures are likely to do "grave harm" to the United States, which is a requisite to classifying them. However, it's dubious whether that will withstand a FOIA request and follow-on lawsuit.

Simple Reason: (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424485)

...they are hiding the Transformer invasion from us.
   

Re:Simple Reason: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425103)

or the new satellites are worse than the old ones. (or even a complete failure)

Large UFO fleet of is going to visit us soon.. (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424507)

This is obviously deliberate, those scientists might get alarmed by the strange data when Dalmatians enter orbit, especially motherships.

/s

Re:Large UFO fleet of is going to visit us soon.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426259)

Walt Disney was an alien, I knew it!

Planet X (1)

ayahner (696000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424541)

This is just one of many attempts at covering up the pending PlanetX disaster of 2012. http://www.december212012.com/media_push.htm [december212012.com]

Re:Planet X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424715)

These satellites are looking *down*. They don't see things coming, they see the effects when they hit. So no, they won't see your imaginary planet X coming.

And when you see where it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425295)

You can *track back* and *see where it came from*.

This then tells you that there are several things off in that direction and it'd be a good idea to check there with *outward pointing* satellites.

You see how this works now?

Good.

Now, even better, if there are a lot of BIG meteorites, you know there are likely to be a lot MORE big metorites where they came from.

See how simple this is?

Re:Planet X (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425597)

I agree with this statement.

North Korea (5, Interesting)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424551)

I would think the problem is that North Korea is supposedly going to be sending a missile over to Hawaii. Perhaps meteor monitoring was simply a bad use of the satellites' time as the US military is gearing up to track North Korea's launch.

Doesn't seem too far fetched to me...

Re:North Korea (2, Interesting)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425409)

Pretty sure the meteor information is actually just waste data. False positives that the military has to detect and catalog whether they are given out the information or not.

Re:North Korea (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425629)

So Dear Leader Kim must be behind this - no one else would be so intent on wasting the military's resources. Of course that means the North Koreans aren't as advanced as we thought, as they are merely throwing rocks at us.

Re:North Korea (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426383)

I left comments on various sites, including this one [intensedebate.com] and some of my comments have been disappearing.

Isn't it an awfully big coincidence that the destruction of US dollar and these fears of NK nuclear bombs and missiles are happening at exactly the same time? I wouldn't put it past the US government to do with NK what they did with Iraq: create a lie and push it to start a war so that US could have its fleet in Asia. There they could 'protect the world from crazy NK' in return for the largest debt owner of US (Japan) forgiving most of it and creating enough threat for China not to try and call US on its debt (not switching from US dollar to some other currency, say gold.) I absolutely believe that US government, the real government - banks, insurance companies, credit companies, military contractors are totally capable of starting a war even a nuclear war to protect their currency and wealth.

A US destroyer was sent to NK shores, isn't that convenient, a single destroyer. They have cruiser missiles on destroyers now, don't they? The 'news' that NK was going to launch a missile at Hawaii came from Japan, and at about the same time Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano delivered a speech saying that Japan's confidence in US Treasuries and the US dollar "is absolutely unshakable", he also said "I have faith in the U.S. dollar's status as a reserve currency." So Japan props up the USD and at the same time supplies 'intel' that NK is preparing a strike on US territory? You make me LOL so hard.

Anyone remembers how Vietnam started? US fabricated bombing of its ship on the 4th of August 1964. In 2005 data came out from the US gov't that there was no bombing, but the Vietnam war started anyway. How did Iraq start? Saddam decided to switch from USD to Euro as main currency of payment for Oil. US has the largest military for a reason - to protect its interests, and right now its interests are protecting its currency. NK 'going nuclear' is a ruse, the real news are: US dollar is dying.

I hope a meteor hits this planet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424627)

I hope a meteor hits this horrible planet where miserable creatures are forced to kill and eat each other until they die. Who created this horrible existence and wtf were they thinking?

--miserable creature.

Re:I hope a meteor hits this planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426073)

If things weren't bad enough, now I'm a troll too. :(

Coast to Coast? (4, Funny)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424653)

the reason for ending the arrangement remains unclear

So, this entire thread is essentially just a bait for idle speculation and conspiracy theories. Art Bell would be proud.

Or it could be (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424663)

that we are preparing for a strike, counterstrike situation w/ N. Korea or Iran.

Security Risk? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424685)

If the military believed that, given the meteor information, a black hat could deduce not only the capabilities of the satellites, but their actual orbits, that would certainly give them cause to discontinue the program.

FAILZORS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424853)

haS steadily the reaper BSD's fellow travellers? fanatic known again. There are

Outbound Meteors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28424861)

More importantly, are they going to block the information on the outbound meteors?

Obligatory X-Files quote (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424891)

CHIEF KORETZ: Sir, I have flash traffic at 24-18. Repeated calls for ID go unanswered. And it's not in the orbital or suborbital inventory.

MALE OFFICER #2: 24-18. Isn't that where...

CHIEF KORETZ: Same exact spot, sir. Although I am reading a much larger craft his time.

MALE OFFICER #2: Meteor, Ms. Koretz.

CHIEF KORETZ: A much larger meteor, sir. Hold on a second. (Putting hand to earpiece) We have a confirm. Whitmarsh Air Force Base is tracking...

MALE OFFICER #2: Where is it?

CHIEF KORETZ: Well, sir. The - meteor - seems to be hovering over a small town in Eastern Wisconsin.

Re:Obligatory X-Files quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425937)

CHIEF KORETZ: Well, sir. The - meteor - seems to be hovering over a small town in Eastern Wisconsin.

God, please let it be Little Chute.

My vote: Retasking (5, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28424975)

I think it is probable that the military has re-assigned the satellites so that more are looking in the direction of North Korea and possibly Iran. It would make a lot of sense to point the satellites in that direction and keep it secret.

Perhaps the wait is over... (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425173)

... Military satellites stop transmitting information about incoming meteor and space objects... Alien craft move in around the planet, setting up positions over major cities and military bases... Are they friend? Are they foe?... Duke Nukem Forever... the Live Action Game!!!

Direct all your complaints (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425315)

to the Monsanto Corporation. /Moon Whaler

aliens and enemies? (1)

wesw02 (846056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425333)

It seems likely to me that our enemies have teamed up with aliens to defeat us. The military must being trying to hide it for our own good.

Congrats! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425441)

On the awful headline making me read a story that was neither negative, nor audacious.

Invaders! (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425449)

Obviously they heard the Decepticons are coming and they don't want them to know the the capabilities of our space surveillance system.

Clarification (4, Informative)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425533)

The satellites were picking up data on meteors as they hit the atmosphere. This has nothing to do with the search for large objects that may or may not hit the earth.

This is technically made clear by the use of the word meteor, as opposed to asteroid, but I only remembered that as I type this so I expect I am not the only one that could have used a clarifying sentence in the summary.

Multilevel Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28425693)

... it may simply lack the expensive software needed to handle classified and declassified data simultaneously.

Sounds reasonable to me.
MLS systems are extremely difficult to get right, extremely difficult to accredit, and extremely difficult to maintain.
In general, they're a PITA.
My life would be so much better without them.

Dumb question incoming. (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425741)

Given that we, and the world, know that meteors striking the atmosphere cause these infrared satellites to go off, what stops a rogue nation from figuring out when the Perseids or Leonids would be impacting above their country and using that as a launch window? I mean, what's an extra blip in all that noise?

Lacks the expensive software? (1)

MindPhlux (304416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426451)

Come on, if the government has the software to sift through fathomless amounts of e-mail traffic and random data, only accessing it when it was intended for a party for which they have a fully cleared warrant, then surely they have the expensive software and know how to give us the locations of a few meteors?

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