Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"Amateurs Identify U.S. Spy Satellite Behind President Trump's Tweet"

NPR:

Thompson was one of the first to use an amateur-curated database of known satellites to point the finger at USA 224. He showed that it flew over the Iranian space center shortly after the accident.

Langbroek went further still. He was able to reconstruct the picture taken by USA 224 by matching the obliqueness of the circular launch pad in the image tweeted by Trump. His calculation showed that the photo was taken from the vantage of USA 224. Langbroek and another online researcher, Christiaan Triebert, also used shadows cast by towers around the launch pad as sun dials—allowing them to verify the time at which the photo was taken.

Both techniques suggest the pictures were snapped by USA 224, which flew near the site at 2:14 p.m. local time.

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The mission patch for the USA 224/NROL-49 satellite includes the Latin phrase "better the devil you know."
*Previously: The Citizen Eco Drive Satellite Wave wristwatch communicates with satellites