Friday, March 23, 2012

Just In: NK Launch Site Ready (Photos)

A map shows the Korean Peninsula, and the location of the new launch center.
(Image Credit: GoldenEye and Google Earth)

This just in: New satellite imagery obtained by Secret Squirrel shows the recently completed Multi-Use launch site where North Korea plans to launch a satellite into Earth orbit. The upcoming launch of North Korea's satellite is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth, in defiance of a recently signed deal to suspend missile launches and nuclear tests in return for badly needed food aid. North Korea says that the agreement does not pertain to the "peaceful use of space", while the United Nations, and the United States maintain that the launch vehicle is "dual-use" and can be used to launch an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

NK Propaganda featuring Kim Il-Sung.

Detail of the launch pad and umbilical tower. No missile or launch vehicle are visible.
 (Image Credit: GoldenEye and Google Earth)

A close examination of the launch pad and umbilical tower, verified NK Humint Ground Assets shows no sign of a missile or launch vehicle. Since the launch is planned to take place in the April 12-16 time frame, launch preparation activity will probably not be visible until about a week prior to NK leader Kim Jong Un's lunch, I mean launch.

Kim Jong Un is very hungry.

Detail of the Missile Assembly Building and the new rail-to-road transfer point.
 (Image Credit: GoldenEye and Google Earth)

The imagery obtained from GoldenEye, (I really liked that game) taken on Tuesday March 20, shows a completed launch pad, and the extension of a 15 mile rail spur that ends at the missile assembly building.

 The location of the launch site allows North Korea the ability to place a satellite in orbit without overflying South Korea territory.
 (Image Credit: GoldenEye and Google Earth)

Located on the West coast of the Korean peninsula just 30 miles south of the Chinese border, the new facility has been under construction for several years. It is intended to replace the aging and remote launch site at Musudan-ri on the Northeast coast. The launch date has been announced to fall between April 12-16th. The North Korean's plan to place the satellite in orbit in southerly direction thus avoiding overflight of South Korean territory. Secret Squirrel out!
Source: Tim Brown Global Security

Friday, March 9, 2012

RMS Titanic: New Images Map Entire Wreck Site

RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage. One of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, she was built between 1909–11 by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. She carried over 2,200 people – 1,316 passengers and about 900 crew.
Source: Wikipedia

The Bow of the Titanic
photo: AP

The Titanic sitting in 2 pieces, bow & stern, two and a half miles down under the sea. A new 3D photo mosaic map made from over 130,000 robotic camera images, sonar readings and the latest computer imaging technology marks the 1st time the entire 3 x 5 mile debris field can be seen with astonishing new detail, clarity, and accuracy. 

The Stern section of the Titanic

The History Channel will air a 2 hour special on the anniversary of the Titanic's fateful end. The Titanic sunk to the muddy Atlantic Ocean bottom on April 15, 1912, during its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York. More than 1,500 passengers and crew died in the disaster. Due to outdated maritime safety regulations of the time, the Titanic carried only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people - a third of her total crew and passenger capacity.