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World’s Largest Satellite Launched by U.S.A.

Sara J Dufort

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There is always that one person that you hear about on the news or from a friend – the person who is skeptical of the United States

The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday the November 21 and was propelled into orbit by the largest unmanned American Launch Vehicle: the Delta-4 Heavy Rocket.

government and believes that it is watching their every move. Now, these people will have a new plot to worry about: the recent launch of the world’s largest satellite into orbit.

The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday the November 21 and was propelled into orbit by the largest unmanned American Launch Vehicle: the Delta-4 Heavy Rocket. This is only the fourth flight that the Delta-4 has flown, and it has over two million pounds of pressure. This mission has been named NROL-32; yet the reason for the satellite is still unclear.

There is large speculation that the purpose for this satellite is eavesdropping on other countries, or as some others put it, spying. The National Reconnaissance Office would neither confirm nor deny what it may be used for, but the Vice President, Jim Sponnick, of United Launch Alliance said, “ULA is pleased to support the NRO as it protects our nation’s security and supports our warriors defending our nation around the world,” according to the Associated Press. It is due in part to this statement that many are calling it the eavesdropping or spying satellite of the year.

Depite all of the media-hype circulating that this project is for spying purposes, the director from the NRO, Bruce Carlson, is trying to give other reasons and perhaps ease the mind of civilians. While speaking about the launch, Carlson noted that their launch campaign is vital to NRO’s mission to replace older satellites before they fail. He noted that, according to the Associated Press, “The other thing I can tell you is these are very important, because they all go to update a constellation which is aging rapidly. We bought most of our satellites for three, five, or eight years, and we’re keeping them on orbit for ten, twelve, and up to twenty years.”

By telling Americans that the satellites are aging, Carlson gives a valid reason that doesn’t include spying, for the update. He says that they have a larger need now than ever before, and they are keeping others in orbit for longer than they should be operating. They do not want to wait for them to fail, because that would be money wasted for every week that they are not in operation. Yet regardless of what any organization says, people will still speculate.

It doesn’t matter what society believes to be true. All we will know is what we are being told, and the fact is, no one has confirmed that the satellite is for the purpose of eavesdropping. Next time someone says that the government is listening to what we say, know that they could be right. But also realize the likelihood of them using a trillion dollar piece of equipment to listen to a college student, is slim. Relax: look at it as our government trying to protect the U.S.A. from potential harm.

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World’s Largest Satellite Launched by U.S.A.