Elon Musk builds a spy satellite network for U.S. intelligence

SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, is building a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a secret contract with a U.S. intelligence agency, Reuters reported, citing five sources familiar with the matter.

The sources said that SpaceX’s Starshield unit is responsible for building the satellite network under a $1.8 billion contract signed in 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office, an intelligence agency that manages spy satellites.

The plans reveal SpaceX’s involvement in U.S. intelligence and military projects and demonstrate the Pentagon’s significant investment in low-orbit satellite systems around the Earth aimed at supporting ground forces.

If successful, the program will significantly enhance the U.S. government’s and the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly monitor potential targets anywhere in the world.

Reuters reports that SpaceX’s contract aims to build a powerful new spy system with hundreds of satellites that can image the Earth and can serve as a group in low orbits and that the intelligence agency that collaborated with Musk is the National Reconnaissance Office.

Sources explained that satellites can track targets on the ground and share that data with U.S. intelligence and military officials.

This would initially allow the US government to quickly obtain images of activities occurring on the ground almost anywhere in the world, helping intelligence and military operations.

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