Lacrosse (satellite)

From Academic Kids

Missing image
NRO_Lacrosse.jpg
Lacrosse 4, under construction

Lacrosse and Onyx are the code names for the United States' National Reconnaissance Office terrestrial radar imaging reconnaissance satellite. While not officially confirmed by the NRO, there is widespread evidence to confirm its existence. One example would be the non-classified acknowledgement of NASA's Magellan Venus probe, which has similar capabilities, and was built by the same contractor (Martin Marietta, though currently Lockheed Martin) using what is probably very similar hardware. Lacrosse uses synthetic aperture radar to perform mapping. It also has some ability to penetrate soil, though there have been more powerful instruments deployed in space for this specific purpose. The name "Lacrosse" is used to refer to all variants, while "Onyx" is sometimes used to refer to the two newer units.

Launches

Four Lacrosse spacecraft have been launched, with three currently in orbit.

Missing image
NRO-Lacrosse4-Patch.jpg
Lacrosse 4 mission patch
  • Lacrosse 4:
    • Launch: August 17, 2000
    • Platform: Titan IV-B
    • Pad: Vandenberg AFB, Space Launch Complex 4
    • Orbital apogee/perigee/inclination: 695 × 689 km @ 68.0
    • Mass: 14,500 kg
    • Status: In active service
    • NORAD Number: 26473
    • Notes: After initial orbit, minor adjustments were made, sending it to 675 × 572 @ 68.1. An Onyx variant.

The orbital inclination of 68, combined with their altitude gives the satellites a complete view of the earth's surface, including the poles.

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