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"SpaceX's Secret $1.8B Spy Satellite Project: Boosting US Intelligence & Military Operations Worldwide

SpaceX is building a network of spy satellites under a $1.8 billion contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The satellite network aims to enhance the US government's ability to quickly identify potential targets globally. The project signifies growing trust in SpaceX by the intelligence establishment.

SpaceX, Elon Musk's space company, is reportedly working on a top-secret project to build a network of spy satellites for a US intelligence agency. According to five sources familiar with the program, SpaceX's Starshield business unit has been awarded a $1.8 billion contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to develop this network. The project aims to enhance the US government's ability to quickly identify potential targets worldwide.


The satellite network, consisting of hundreds of satellites, will provide advanced Earth-imaging capabilities and operate in low-Earth orbit. This will enable the US government and military to gather continuous imagery of activities on the ground, significantly enhancing intelligence and military operations. The contract signifies a growing trust in SpaceX by the intelligence establishment, despite recent controversies surrounding the company's owner, Elon Musk.


While the existence of the classified contract was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, this is the first time that details about the purpose and scope of the program have been disclosed. The NRO, responsible for managing spy satellites, is collaborating with SpaceX on this powerful new spy system. The exact timeline for the deployment of the satellite network and the involvement of other companies in the program remain undisclosed.


SpaceX, known as the world's largest satellite operator, has not provided any comments regarding the contract or its role in the project. The Pentagon has referred inquiries to the NRO and SpaceX. The NRO acknowledged its mission to develop advanced satellite systems but declined to comment on the extent of SpaceX's involvement.


The spy satellites will have the capability to track ground targets and share the collected data with US intelligence and military officials. This will greatly enhance the US government's surveillance capabilities and provide valuable information for intelligence and military operations. Several prototypes have already been launched since 2020, with SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets playing a crucial role in their deployment.


The Starshield network is separate from SpaceX's commercial broadband constellation, Starlink, which aims to provide global internet coverage. The classified spy satellite network is highly sought-after by the US government due to its persistent and rapid coverage of Earth's activities. It represents a significant step in the intensifying competition between the US and its rivals to establish dominance in space.


As China and Russia also develop their own satellite constellations, the Pentagon has expressed concerns about potential space weapon threats. The Starshield network aims to be resilient against attacks from sophisticated space powers and will greatly expand the US government's remote-sensing capabilities.

 
  • SpaceX is building a network of spy satellites under a $1.8 billion contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

  • The satellite network aims to enhance the US government's ability to quickly identify potential targets globally.

  • The project signifies growing trust in SpaceX by the intelligence establishment.


Source: REUTERS

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