back to article Second Skynet satellite to launch tonight

The second Skynet 5 UK military communications satellite is to launch today at 2204 GMT from Kourou in French Guiana, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. It will share the ride with a Brazilian telecomms bird. With Skynet 5B online, joining the Skynet 5A sat already in space, the Skynet 5 system will be fully operational; however an on …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting coverage

    Eastern USA to eastern China.

    Surely that covers USA, Canada, Japan and, err, some Pacific Islands?

    Who are we expecting to fight there?

  2. andy rock
    Thumb Down

    the name...

    again, seriously: 'skynet'?!

    i'm not superstitious but if you were building a cruiseliner, would you call it 'titanic'? well?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How long till it goes self-aware?

  4. Simon Ball

    The satellite came first.

    Sorry to interrupt the conspiracy theories, but the first Skynet satellite was launched in 1969 - well before Terminator.

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Amazing Grace...... ?AI Humble Bolt out of the NEUKlearer Royal AIResearch Force Blue?

    "How long till it goes self-aware?"

    IT is and was probably also always so, AC.

    "With two in orbit we will have nothing left to prove." ...... And Second to Feed the First BetaTested MetAIData 42 BroadBandCast XXXXStreams in XXXXtreme Memes.

    A Shining Light of the Path and ITs Stairways.....

    A little Honey for Cheltenham and ESA Noordwijk and Beaglers to Ponder .

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    PFI = ripoff

    Like most PFI I expect this will end up costing the treasury 3 to 5 times what it would have cost had they simply commissioned the satellites internally. The MOD will still be paying top dollar for use of these satellites long after the 3.2 billion costs are recuperated.

    Why can we never invest in the future? We bumble from crisis to crisis, always opting for the quick fixes which end up costing much more in the long run.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Nexus are watching!

    End Transmission.

  8. Parax
    Black Helicopters

    Warzone 2100... 93 years and counting..

    The New Paradigm? wasnt that Warzone 2100 ???

    Hasn't that been resurected as a free open source game??

    Where did I put those Elsa 3d Specs..

    wow look at the iddy biddy 3d tanks...Cool!

    hey why are they turning towards me?? ARGH...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Skynet 5 soon to be fully operational

    I think they are covering the other way around the earth i.e. Atlantic (= Falklands et al.), Europe and much of Asia.

    (two geostationary satelites will cover a little under 2/3 of earth surface)

    (I think the first skynet was launched just before 1970)

  10. Patrick O'Reilly

    Re: Interesting Coverage

    Anonymous Coward I think you have it backwards.

    You think it's covering the pacific and the USA, think the other way round, Cuba, Columbia, Argentina, the Falklands, Eire, Africa, Basque Region, EU, Prussia, Vatican City, CCCP, Middle East, India, China, Taiwan. All the trouble makers. They'll just rely on the US's fantastic cell coverage for operations on mainland USA.

  11. Simon Harris
    Black Helicopters

    @andy rock

    Funnily enough, the UK MoD got in on the act first with the name. Skynet 1 was launched in November 1969, giving James Cameron 25 years to catch up and borrow it.

    There's even a commemmorative envelope...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Re: The Satellite Came First

    HELLOOOO!!!! Skynet can time travel. They obviously went back in time to launch a Skynet Satellite in the late 60's in order to wipe out something that it decided was a threat.

  13. Neil


    But it's in space... surely SpaceNet would have been more appropriate?

  14. Kenneth

    I'm bursting

    Does any one know where the toilets are?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Dont Panic!

    For a while i was worried until i read this article and realised that even if skynet becomes self aware it will be British kit so it wont exactly have much to destroy the world with.

    In any case a British AI will probably just buy its own PFI, sit back on its haunches live of the massive income for 30 years, achieve non domicile tax status whilst plotting to take over a country house in the Home Counties.

    After establishing itself it'll chuck some cash at the Politicos and buy itself a peerage and sit in the house of lords with its own Taiwanese built Ermine Avatar. Its domination of human kind will be limited to Captain Cyborg who will become its PR agent along with the floating brain in a jar maintained Max Clifford.

    After a few centuries it'll marry off one of its Avatars to the Monarchy and within a Generation be head of State though it baby Avatars whilst also having another Avatar as priminister having successfully inserted two Avatars as head of the Tories and labour.

    Most likely we wont notice the difference.

  16. Anonymous John

    It didn't launch on time

    Due to a electronics problem with a solid rocket booster. And according to the BBC news website will be rolled back to an inspection shed.

    I now have this mental image of a huge wooden structure full of lawn mowers, plant pots, and assorted rusty tools.

    Where's my gardening jacket?

  17. Alex Hearl


    um, unless my memory is shot (which, given the amount of a certain green substance I may or may not have consumed at university, is a distince possibility) I thought that Skynet was the computer system not the satelite system....

    Also, on another note, is it really a great plan to be sending up a multi-million pound satelite on the Ariane 5 rocket.... didn't it blow up (or was that the Ariane 4...? damn my memory)

    ah well,

    </rule 8>

  18. Christian Berger

    How secure will it be?

    At least the US military satellites are more often used by pirates than by the military. Satellites typically have very little intelligence, they just send down a block of spectrum they get.

  19. Simon Harris

    @ Anonymous John

    "Due to a electronics problem with a solid rocket booster. And according to the BBC news website will be rolled back to an inspection shed."

    Hmmm... could that be one of the MoD's newfangled invisible sheds then?

  20. Daniel Snowden

    Not really

    "By andy rock

    Posted Friday 9th November 2007 14:18 GMT

    Thumb Down

    again, seriously: 'skynet'?!

    i'm not superstitious but if you were building a cruiseliner, would you call it 'titanic'? well?"

    Only difference, the Titanic was real. Skynet is not. I can appreciate the humor of it, a few people at MOD must be getting a good laugh out of the whole thing.

  21. Anonymous John

    Re @ Anonymous John

    "could that be one of the MoD's newfangled invisible sheds then?"

    I don't see it, to be honest.

    Anyway, from

    Launch update

    11 November 2007 The next Ariane 5 flight is now scheduled for 12 November. The launch window opens at 10:06 UTC/GMT (19:06 Kourou, 23:06 CET/Paris) and has a duration of 54 minutes.

  22. Rich

    If it's really a Skynet

    The Skynet 4 program was used as cover (in the 80's) for the secret construction of a communications interception satellite called Zircon.

    It was cancelled after the exposure of the program by Duncan Campbell.

    Maybe they've built another one.

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