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Spysat declared a failure
Posted: Mon, Aug 6, 2007, 8:34 PM ET (0034 GMT)
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has written off an experimental spy satellite that has suffered problems since its launch late last year. Reuters reported late last week that the spacecraft, known only as NRO L-21, failed to respond to ground commands since its launch into polar orbit in December on a Delta 2. The nature of the problem, and even the satellite's payload, have remained classified, although reports suggest that the spacecraft may have mad some sore of synthetic aperture radar capability. The decision to abandon NRO L-21 is the latest in a string of problems for the nation's intelligence satellites, including a problem during a launch earlier this year that placed two satellites into a lower-than-planned orbit, as well as continued cost overruns on other systems under development.
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