Tuesday, 18 June 2024
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First-generation SpaceX satellites are launched for a new US espionage constellation

  • SpaceX has launched its first set of operational spy satellites.
  • Longstanding space and defense contractor Northrop Grumman is also working on the project.
  • The business has taken the lead in the US rocket launch market

As part of a US intelligence network designed to enhance space-based surveillance capabilities, SpaceX has launched its first set of operational spy satellites. The National Reconnaissance Office’s hundreds of satellites are part of the network, which is intended to detect ground targets globally rapidly.

Longstanding space and defense contractor Northrop Grumman is also working on the project. First-ever launch of the NRO’s widely used equipment with quick data delivery and fast collecting took place when the Falcon 9 rocket took out from Southern California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base.

SpaceX satellites

Without specifying the number of satellites deployed, the government stated, “About six launches bolstering NRO’s proliferated architecture are scheduled for 2024, with additional launches expected through 2028.”

 The reliance of military and intelligence organizations worldwide on satellites in Earth’s orbit to support operations on Earth has grown, partly due to declining space-related costs and growing risks to conventional ground-based and aerial data collection techniques.

The degree to which Elon Musk’s SpaceX has become the go-to company for the US government for some of its most critical missions is also evident from the NRO satellite network.

With its Starlink network, a commercial network of thousands of broadband internet satellites, the business has taken the lead in the US rocket launch market and grown to become the largest satellite operator in the world.

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