back to article SpaceX, Northrop Grumman reportedly working on US spy sat program

SpaceX is understood to be working with aerospace and defense biz Northrop Grumman on a spy satellite program that provides the US military with improved intelligence imagery. Reports surfaced last month that the Musk-owned space launch company was building a network of spy satellites as part of a classified contract with an …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Pint

    "provocative use of civilian satellites"

    Oh? You'd prefer them to be military?

    Hold my beer...

  2. xyz Silver badge

    The telescope "polishers" won't be happy.

    Between Starlink, Starshield, Amazon's thingy and NASA's space blanket there will be much gnashing of teeth down the Ferret and Whippet.

  3. Dostoevsky

    GMTI

    This is almost certainly the replacement for the E-8C JSTARS battlefield surveillance aircraft, which came out of the Pave Mover program in the 80s. Instead of electro-optical sensors like the usual recon birds, it will probably have a phased-array radar to act as a Ground Moving Target Indicator. Starlink buses easily have the bandwith to provide real-time high-res imagery.

    Among other things, this could continuously track road-mobile ICBMs, which China, Russia, & NoKo make extensive use of. It may even be able to do limited aerial tracking, helping to replace legacy AWACS.

    Whatever it is, it's going to be very close to a panoptic surveillance system.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: GMTI

      It would be smart for SpaceX to spin off a separate company for this work. They're trying to sell product globally but its not going to go down well in many countries if the equipment is perceived as acting for the interests of the US military.

      1. awomanmanhasaname

        Re: GMTI

        Airbus and Boeing have military divisions.

        They still sell to China

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