Home > Information news > SpaceX to launch a swarm of US reconnaissance satellites next month

SpaceX to launch a swarm of US reconnaissance satellites next month

Release: 2024/04/22 10:29 Reading: 304

Original author:Alfonso Maruccia

Original source:https://www.techspot.com/news/102678-spacex-ready-send-new-network-us-spy-satellites.html

The first batch of this new classified constellation should enter low-earth orbit in May

Space surveillance: SpaceX has never had a particularly friendly relationship with traditional defense contractors and manufacturers. However, the company is allegedly ready to send a fleet of secret US spy satellites into low-earth orbit.

Unnamed sources told Reuters that SpaceX is working with aerospace and defense contractor Northrop Grumman to develop a highly advanced network of spy satellites. The devices are almost ready to launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The US government will likely use them to acquire high-resolution imagery of Earth's surface.

The constellation of "hundreds" of spy satellites is part of a $1.8 billion contract between SpaceX and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the US defense agency that operates US reconnaissance satellites. Northrop Grumman, one of the world's largest weapons manufacturers and military tech providers, is contributing specific surveillance solutions like a series of sensors for a subset of the spy satellites.

One of the sources said that it's in the "government's interest" to avoid investing too much in a single company "run by one person," an explanation providing an almost perfect definition of how SpaceX operates. Northrop Grumman will install its tech in at least 50 of the satellites. Other contractors are working on additional components, with SpaceX coordinating the efforts.

SpaceX is not unfamiliar with satellite swarms. It put thousands of satellites up for the Starlink internet service. The NRO is interested in exploiting the company's tried ability to launch "megaconstellations" through their existing manufacturing facilities and the reusable Falcon 9 carrier. The new satellites are a "proliferated" network of swarms of individual surveillance devices less vulnerable to a large-scale (albeit still theoretical) attack by enemy entities.

The new satellites have exceptionally high-quality image sensors, with a resolution that exceeds the capabilities of some of the best spy satellites currently employed by the US. The military could theoretically use them as an alternative to drones and reconnaissance aircraft for surveillance tasks without the risk of violating foreign airspace.

The insiders said the first elements of the new spy network will launch next month from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The NRO's principal deputy director, Troy Meink, confirmed the launch, stating it will be just the first of six identical operations slated for 2024 alone.

Selected Topics

  • Dogecoin whale activity
    Dogecoin whale activity
    Get the latest insights into Dogecoin whale activities with our comprehensive analysis. Discover trends, patterns, and the impact of these whales on the Dogecoin market. Stay informed with our expert analysis and stay ahead in your cryptocurrency journey.
  • Dogecoin Mining
    Dogecoin Mining
    Dogecoin mining is the process of adding new blocks of transactions to the Dogecoin blockchain. Miners are rewarded with new Dogecoin for their work. This topic provides articles related to Dogecoin mining, including how to mine Dogecoin, the best mining hardware and software, and the profitability of Dogecoin mining.
  • Spacex Starship Launch
    Spacex Starship Launch
    This topic provides articles related to SpaceX Starship launches, including launch dates, mission details, and launch status. Stay up to date on the latest SpaceX Starship launches with this informative and comprehensive resource.
  • King of Memes: Dogecoin
    King of Memes: Dogecoin
    This topic provides articles related to the most popular memes, including "The King of Memes: Dogecoin." Memecoin has become a dominant player in the crypto space. These digital assets are popular for a variety of reasons. They drive the most innovative aspects of blockchain.