8 December 2013, 12:23

US spy rocket blasts off with globe-sucking octopus

At a time when all US surveillance agencies have come under fire for spying on everybody's private business, you might think it's time for a little rebranding and yet a spy rocket has just shot into orbit bearing insignia depicting a mean-looking octopus which seems to be stuffing itsself with the entire planet, along with a tagline that reads "Nothing is Beyond Our Reach".

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© Photo: Twitter

The Atlas V rocket was launched late on Thursday night under the NROL-39 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, an intelligence agency which is often overshadowed by the notorious National Security Agency (NSA), only it scoops data via spy satellites in outer space.

The rocket is believed to be carrying a radar imaging satellite, yet another asset in the agency’s current radar reconnaissance fleet.

Back to the octopus though; stories about it have spread across the Internet, prompting NRO spokeswoman Karen Furgerson to defend the logo.

She said: "NROL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptive, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide," adding the "Nothing is beyond our reach" line "defines our mission and the value it brings to our nation".

The NRO's globe-munching octopus though does look a bit less evil when compared to other insignia badges used in covert Psyops and Black Ops as a way to subtly describe a mission's goal. These badges tend to be enigmatic and dark and represent a sort of inside code to mirror the military's "black" missions that don't officially exist.

Among mission logos that have been released to the public is the symbol of the US Navy's stealth drone program... the Grim Reaper. A crazed-eyed dragon with American flags for its wings and clutching the globe stands for a program with the National Reconnaissance Office, the US "black" space agency, whose existence was a secret until the early 1990s.

One more serpentine monster from legends, vaguely reminiscent of the hydra, adorns a badge used by the crew of yet another program of the National Reconnaissance Office. The inscription underneath translates as "Never before, never again".

So what can we conclude from an Earth-sucking octopus? Aside from the mission's classified primary payload, the Atlas V also carried a bunch of mini-satellites that that are cheap to build and can use solar radiation to fly through space longer than rocket-propulsion satellites. This virtually means that the tentacles of America's World Octopus are spreading across the globe to coil around everything within their grasp, which is, well, everything.

Launch of Atlas V 501 with NROL-39 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base

Voice of Russia, Motherboard

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