Able Danger's Infrastructure: US - 413; Non-US World - 382
The existence of manmade, Earth satellites can be derived from astronomical observations, the United Nation's data base of satellite launches (major events whose registration with the UN is mandated), and public information releases by corporations, institutions, or governments. The Union of Concerned Scientists has made public its derived compilation of satellite data to spur its dialogue on appropriate uses of space.
The Russians (87), place a distant second to the U.S. (413) for satellites in orbit. The Chinese have reached 34 (including joint ventures). As Earth satellites fill the heavens, the Union of Concerned Scientists speculates. "No one owns space, so everyone has a right to know what's up there." said Dr. Laura Grego, Cambridge astrophysicist who was on a team that spent years compiling information on active satellites.
Really? No one owns the open oceans, either, Dr. Grego, but we are enjoying the fruits of liberty because honorable submariners have been lurking there for a century. Most individuals have no right to know their whereabouts.
Facts concerning unclassified satellites were publicly available from the U.S. government before 9-11. For national security purposes, individuals must now register with the Air Force to access such information, and may distribute it only with DOD permission.
The Union of Concerned Scientists opposes space-based weapons as well as weapons that target satellites from the ground. Currently, weapons of mass destruction probably exist on every continent of and in almost every ocean of our planet. Since Earth is part of a galaxy in space, it is too late to promote a weapons ban on either the planet or its surrounding space. Perhaps the real aim of the Union is to cripple U.S. military preparedness. Shame on scientists for prevaricating. Next, they will probably try to hype a global warming crisis.
Taxpayers pay dearly for our military to develope and cloak classified systems. Those who would reveal national secrets without prior, legal authorization deserve the gallows by nightfall. Let's hope these "scientists" show as much concern for taxpayers' property rights as they do for their personal, political agendas.
Meanwhile, how often have shuttle astronauts retrieved, repaired, or modified highly classified space objects ? Ask yourself the same question applied to commercial satellites? Whose joint-ventures were they? Able Danger was only one important project.