The US Space Agency has just commissioned SpaceX to design future military satellites. These will be responsible for detecting enemy missiles before they hit their targets.
The US Space Development Agency (SDA) has just announced that SpaceX has won a $ 149 million contract to provide the Pentagon with missile detection satellites, Reuters reveals. The order should be ready for launch in fall 2022.
4 SATELLITES TO DETECT MISSILES
According to SDA documents, the United States Department of Defense is seeking to acquire four satellites equipped with wide-angle infrared sensors capable to detect missiles. They will be built at SpaceX’s production facility in Redmond, Washington.
This contract is part of SDA’s program to put satellites into orbit capable of detecting and tracking missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICMBs) which can travel long distances and are difficult to locate.
The ultimate goal for the space agency is to build a “National Defense Space Architecture”, a resilient military capability to detect and transport data through a space architecture primarily in low earth orbit.
A FIRST CONTRACT FOR STATE SATELLITES
If this is the first order for state satellites for the company of Elon Musk, it is not the first time that it deals with Washington. The United States Army has signed a three-year contract with SpaceX to test its Starlink low-orbit satellite array.
This constellation is currently used by the Emergency Response Division of the Washington State Army to bring the Internet to areas affected by wildfires.