back to article Korean peninsula space race sees South and North launch tit for tat spy sats

A little more than a week after North Korea claimed to have launched its first indigenous military reconnaissance satellite, South Korea has done the same – then followed up by launching another sat on its own rocket. The first South Korean satellite launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on a Falcon-9 just …

  1. jake Silver badge

    This is clearly not about "spy satellite".

    This is all about weapon launch and delivery research.

    Consider that there are several commercial operations that'll sell the Norks pretty pictures of pretty much anywhere at far better resolution than they can likely manage ... and for a LOT less money than they just spent on that satellite. Shit, I'll bet go ogle has better resolution than they can manage, and for free.

    1. jmch Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: This is clearly not about "spy satellite".

      "I'll bet go ogle has better resolution than they can manage, and for free"

      As far as I remember (from a while back, so could be outdated), Google Maps pictures were based on a combination of satellite images at lower resolution and aerial photography for higher resolution, in which case resolution over N Korea is likely to be less than that available elsewhere. The other main issue with respect to recon is the ability to have live or near-live images. Based on the fields showing on Google maps in places where I know there are new houses or roads, it can be anything up to 3-4 years old. Commercial operations would also probably have a higher latency than would be ideal for military applications - even days rather than minutes or couple of hours is likely to be insufficient lead time if someone is preparing to lob a few rockets your way.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: This is clearly not about "spy satellite".

        Google maps used to fuzz out critical locations. I discovered that a few years ago when I tried to check whether Jimmy Carter's home in Plains, GA had solar panels installed. (I'll be surprised if it doesn't). Couldn't tell. Looks like they've stopped doing that although the image of the White House on Google Maps (1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW in Washington DC) looks perhaps slightly fuzzy to me. Try it yourself.

        For comparison, here's a link to an (eventually) declassified intelligence satellite photo posted on Twitter in 2019 courtesy of one Donald J Trump. https://www.npr.org/2022/11/18/1137474748/trump-tweeted-an-image-from-a-spy-satellite-declassified-document-shows

        I should think that the current NK satellite is just a proof of concept. Not really a serious intelligence collection vehicle. Those will presumably come later.

  2. Jan 0 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    US aircraft carriers at Norfolk naval base!

    Oi! Get your place names right. Norfolk has a US airbase at Feltwell and some presence at Marham but no naval bases. Which Norfolk are you referring to?

    If you just write "Norfolk, without qualification, it has to mean the original Norfolk, not one of the many places"named" by uninquisitive and unimaginative colonists. (When you move to a new country, it's polite to discover what the locals call your new location.)

    1. Stephen Wilkinson

      Re: US aircraft carriers at Norfolk naval base!

      “The forest of Skund was indeed enchanted, which was nothing unusual on the Disc, and was also the only forest in the whole universe to be called -- in the local language -- Your Finger You Fool, which was the literal meaning of the word Skund.

      The reason for this is regrettably all too common. When the first explorers from the warm lands around the Circle Sea travelled into the chilly hinterland they filled in the blank spaces on their maps by grabbing the nearest native, pointing at some distant landmark, speaking very clearly in a loud voice, and writing down whatever the bemused man told them. Thus were immortalised in generations of atlases such geographical oddities as Just A Mountain, I Don't Know, What? and, of course, Your Finger You Fool.

      Rainclouds clustered around the bald heights of Mt. Oolskunrahod ('Who is this Fool who does Not Know what a Mountain is') and the Luggage settled itself more comfortably under a dripping tree, which tried unsuccessfully to strike up a conversation.”

      ― Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: US aircraft carriers at Norfolk naval base!

        That's why I live in Gitthehellouttahere, Florida. It's an old Indian word...

        Dammit, I can't pick the "getting my coat" icon

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: US aircraft carriers at Norfolk naval base!

        Lots of River Avons

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: US aircraft carriers at Norfolk naval base!

      What are they doing in the Broads?

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