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We used to do this at school in the '80s using a BBC Micro and some hardware that you could purchase. It's good to see that it can still be done -- they haven't encrypted the downlinks.

Why would they? It would just be a lot of hassle and money for something that is released for free anyway. You can get the same images off of NOAA's web site.

I hope that the control link is authenticated and encrypted in someway.

I work in the scientific satellite industry, and as far as I know, nothing is encrypted (possibly not true for military satellites). Sounds crazy, but I think people are more worried about reliability than security. Pretty much an accident waiting to happen.

Edit: It's more of a security through obscurity setup. The command codes aren't published (plus, they're protected under ITAR), and probably vary quite a bit per satellite. I think they are just hoping nobody takes the time to figure out what bits to send.

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