Satellite Designation: Classified
Launch Date: August 12, 1998
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Space Launch Complex 41
Rocket: Lockheed Martin Titan IV, General Dynamics Centaur
Project: Mercury (Advanced Vortex), SIGINT Collection. Successor to Vortex (Chalet), which captured radio transmissions, feeding them into ECHELON.
Function: ELINT (Electronic Signals Intelligence) “Technical and geolocation intelligence derived from foreign non communications electromagnetic radiations emanating from other than nuclear detonations or radioactive sources.”
Notes: Exploded 40 seconds after take off due to a short circuit. This project cost an estimated $1,000,000,000.00.
Photo by Julia Corbett