SpaceX to build swarm of spy satelites

> SpaceX is building a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a classified contract with a U.S. intelligence agency, five sources familiar with the program said, demonstrating deepening ties between billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's space company and national security agencies.
>The network is being built by SpaceX's Starshield business unit under a $1.8 billion contract signed in 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), an intelligence agency that manages spy satellites, the sources said.
>Reuters reporting discloses for the first time that the SpaceX contract is for a powerful new spy system with hundreds of satellites bearing Earth-imaging capabilities that can operate as a swarm in low orbits, and that the spy agency that Musk's company is working with is the NRO.

How big is this? Lots of NRO stuff is classified but as far as we know, the capabilities of their telescopes are immense.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I guess AI means they can process much more data now

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >I guess AI means they can process much more data now
      AI (LLM) is slow as frick for specialized data processing compared to tailored algos. What an idiotic satement

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Why would you assume LLM are being used for data processing?
        You understand that LLMs are not the only form of modern AI that exist right?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >le AI is LLM
        how is that even relevant to imaging satellites?

        The current "AI" isn't intelligence, but a bunch of "If X then Y" statements *10^18 that will answer/solve based on a DataBase. Now unless there is a specific DB for every sort of detectable thing, and I mean every, that "AI" will be as usuful as a chink with a screen pointing out a "G.I Joe herocopter"

        you haven't a clue what current AI is

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          How about you?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      The current "AI" isn't intelligence, but a bunch of "If X then Y" statements *10^18 that will answer/solve based on a DataBase. Now unless there is a specific DB for every sort of detectable thing, and I mean every, that "AI" will be as usuful as a chink with a screen pointing out a "G.I Joe herocopter"

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      He said it was for self driving but now we know the real reason for all the H100's he's been buying.
      >“We’re using a lot of Nvidia hardware. We’ll… take Nvidia hardware as fast as Nvidia will deliver it to us.” Musk said.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        they are also training Gruk or whatever (supposedly) non-woke AI

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    havent we already be doing that tho? this is basically what starlink is.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Starlink is just an internet provider, we're talking about spy satellites, optical imaging or SAR.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        starlink is an internet provider being used by thousands of soldiers in the field. do you think that information is being kept from the CIA?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Your first question was:
          >havent we already be doing that tho? this is basically what starlink is
          And no, we haven't. Starlink is just internet, communication. Spy satellites do the imaging.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    How big? video and SAR/ELINT in real time.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Also, researchers demonstrated that starlink signals could be used to provide reasonably-accurate coordinates. So, why not throw in a GPS-like capability that can't be degraded by killing a half-dozen satellites in MEO?

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    People don't realize the kind of secret squirrel stuff that agencies like the NRO and NGA actually do/facilitate

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Lots of NRO stuff is classified

    >KH-11s are believed to resemble the Hubble Space Telescope in size and shape, as they were shipped in similar containers. Their length is believed to be 19.5 meters, with a diameter of up to 3 meters (120 in)
    These are the famous pic related ones. You can get the diameter into a F9 but not the length, and the weight alone is prohibitive if you want to launch more than one. So it won't be that.

    It'll probably be smaller ones, way smaller, probably like 5m resolution or less if I wanted to guess but definitely not anything close to KH-11 which is apparently like 10 cm or so. Still having very quick revisit time will be great. I was waiting for this news.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Also before some moron goes "THE CAPABILITES ARE CLASSIFIED THE GOVERNMENT HAS TECH 20 YEARS IN THE FUTURE!!!", no, that's not how it fricking works. There is a physical diffraction limit on the resolution you can get through the atmosphere and the KH-11S, with their like 2.4 meter DIAMETER lenses, can get to 6 cm (more, like 10cm, practically). You are not getting that with a satellite capable of fitting in a F9 in multiples of 5.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >There is a physical diffraction limit on the resolution you can get through the atmosphere and the KH-11S
        Synthethic aperture/

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          machine learning could probably help some.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >There is a physical diffraction limit on the resolution you can get through the atmosphere
        You can do optical synthetic aperture with several smaller satellites, non-linear mediums help mitigate diffraction too. You don't know shit

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          That requires very stable systems and you have to know your orbits very accurately. Not impossible, just really difficult. Machine learning might be able to help with the atmosphere at least.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            You can get decent stability by tethering satellites together

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        just to put some boundaries on here - a 100kg sat (commercial - planetlab) can get you 50cm resolution.
        Imagine ~300 of those flying over a region daily, equally spaced, will get you ~5 minute revisit time.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >What are plasmonic/metamaterial superlenses

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          What are they?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Also before some moron goes "THE CAPABILITES ARE CLASSIFIED THE GOVERNMENT HAS TECH 20 YEARS IN THE FUTURE!!!", no, that's not how it fricking works. There is a physical diffraction limit on the resolution you can get through the atmosphere and the KH-11S, with their like 2.4 meter DIAMETER lenses, can get to 6 cm (more, like 10cm, practically). You are not getting that with a satellite capable of fitting in a F9 in multiples of 5.

      Or it could be synthetic-aperture radar. It delivers more while being much smaller. Makes more sense for LEO constellation.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Could be SAR, yeah. Or it could be ELINT like NOSS, that'd be insane. I just wanted to get the "HURR 9 BILLION SPY SATELLITES STARING AT YOUR NOSTRILS!" shit out of the way first.

        People know a surprisingly small amount about spy satellites for all they complain about them. How many people have you met that knew about Orion/Mentor? Fricking 100 meter diameter dish ELINT satellites in GSO.

        >T. Knower
        Yes, people who read the article.
        >A U.S. government database of objects in orbit shows several SpaceX missions having deployed satellites that neither the company nor the government have ever acknowledged. Two sources confirmed those to be prototypes for the Starshield network.

        His claim is 30 which is bullshit.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        no the hubble spy sats have been a long since semi-confirmed rumor. I think some hobbyst have even got grainy pics of some of them floating in orbit with their telescopes. Common legend accompanying the stories is also the hubble telescope only got funded as the engineers and brains behind the spy sats made making it a condition in exchange for completing the contract. Thus Hubble itself is cobbled together from earlier version of the spysat prototypes

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          that's not a rumor. the NRO also donated 2-3 more hubble-like sats on the condition that they don't point to earth.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I know the story about NASA telescopes. I was just guessing what kind of spy sat will SpaceX make.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I think it's funny that everyone focuses on optical photography satellites when news about NRO launches comes out. There's way wilder shit being launched.
      t. knower

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Like plasmonic and or metamaterial superlenses? You figure the 20+ years They® been at it their would be field able systems that are less technically fragile.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Nothing like that at all.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >quick revisit time
      This. It's unimaginable that soldiers have to fly jammable drones with traceable launch & control location in 2024. There should be simple live recon network available anywhere on world. The letter agencies then can do global vehicle tracking and other magic, but 24/7 worldwide coverage that can as minimum distinguish persons should be the next thing.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >traceable launch & control location in 2024
        they don't. Both sides hack their drones first

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        https://www.he360.com/resource/using-radio-frequency-detection-to-protect-endangered-wildlife/
        https://www.he360.com/resource/using-radio-frequency-detection-to-identify-artisanal-and-small-scale-mining-activity-in-niger/

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >It'll probably be smaller ones
      I dont think sow .If stated "hundreds" it loos like more average capability satellites but having large coverage and persistence

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      they will also piggyback DoD comms via their starlink sats. that's old news already.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >t-there's only 10m resolution!
      meanwhile, you can see rusty cage's guillotine from google earth. Get real anon.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      individual resolution isn't as important when you're talking about a network of "hundreds"

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        sorry, this is the sort of network I was thinking of.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_interferometer
        Not that we know if it's the case, but if they do end up with hundreds set up for this sort of imaging, it could produce some incredible results with numerous possibilities in redundancy, multi-target tracking, mass focus, what have you.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >linking wikipedia
          Text without context, text referring to pictures and experiments that are not there, words like "phase inversions" appearing out of nowhere unexplained.
          This is why you should never link wikipedia. The most useless source ever.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            wikipedia is shit, on that we agree
            it is convenient, however. did you actually follow any of the sources or use any of those unexplained phrases (I don't see "phase inversions" in that article, and it'd be a little odd if it were) as keywords for further searches, or do you want to know everything about a subject from a short article written by who knows who?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              It's based on "interferometry" I clicked on that and you can click on a million hyperlinks to try to learn what the frick it's talking about but you never do it just sends you to other hyperlinks that explain nothing but send you away. All wikipedia does is smugly fart in your face.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            It's based on "interferometry" I clicked on that and you can click on a million hyperlinks to try to learn what the frick it's talking about but you never do it just sends you to other hyperlinks that explain nothing but send you away. All wikipedia does is smugly fart in your face.

            I just read that article in about two minutes. It's perfectly clear, especially in context of this post chain in the thread. You seem to have a reading comprehension problem. Maybe re-take your ESL certification? From a qualified instructor this time?

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    They already have been sent up. Around 30 so far
    T. Knower

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >T. Knower
      Yes, people who read the article.
      >A U.S. government database of objects in orbit shows several SpaceX missions having deployed satellites that neither the company nor the government have ever acknowledged. Two sources confirmed those to be prototypes for the Starshield network.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Probably pretty big.

    SpaceX, etc primarily exist to fulfill megaprojects the US government has wanted to do but has been unable to do directly with public money. Elon's public facing image as "nerd cowboy capitalist" that's in touch with regular people is just that, an image. If you follow the trail, you see that no small amount of money comes from the government and that pretty much every major project his company's have strived for has lined up with either stated policy objectives of the US government or otherwise directly benefit from it. It is an answer to the resource mobilization ability of China, who can pretty much dictate things at the drop of a hat. I'm not sure if China has targeted any of Musk's companies yet in any pseudo "trade war" actions, but you can probably expect it in the future.

    >nobody cares schizo blah blah
    Thank you for reading my unrelated sperg-out. I will not reply.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >that's in touch with regular people
      that has never been part of his image. Just because Joe Rogan gave him a spliff with some weed mixed with tobacco in it once, does not, his public image, make.

      >follow the trail, you see that no small amount of money comes from the government

      DoD and NASA have never been shy about their enthusiasm for SpaceX as defense contractor that gets shit done for cheap. Musk has never been shy about the fact he receives defense money and that it funds a lot of other stuff he does. You're not some super sleuth following a trail of breadcrumbs only you see.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        SpX has also launched South Korean and German spy sats

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    When will idiots stop falling for Musk's technobabble snake oil?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Never. If elon didn’t have daddy’s money from blood emeralds instead he’d be the most successful used cars salesman ever. Dude is peak grifter and it’s impressive. My question is why would the govt work with a dude with a god complex that would sell them out just to look cool on twitter

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >My question is why would the govt work with a dude
        Because he does the job the best.
        Who else can launch satellites for US? They are all pathetic.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        you know the blood emeralds story is a libtard concoction that they dreamt up out of thin air once elon musk stopped being their epic science guy right?

        it's pretty easy to do research on these subjects, troubling how many people picked up on that gossip story and just ran with it like it's reality.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Thank you for the citations. Highly informative post.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            you're the one making the claim moron, you're supposed to cite your sources

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >My question is why would the govt work with a dude with a god complex that would sell them out just to look cool on twitter

        He is a quarter israelite, hes part of the tribe, so he is loyal to the cause. Whitey doesnt understand this because whitey is a individualist with no tribal loyalty.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Because he is a reliable partner to NASA and Space Force.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Hr talks a lot of shit and fricks up even more often than he’s spazzing out on twitter but spacex is a wild success and tesla is a moderate success

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        people seriously need to understand that musk isn't a genius or a moron, he's just really fricking autistic.

        most of the interviews you can find with engineers that have worked closely with him will tell you that he actually has quite a good grasp of engineering, even the ones that fricking hate him, whom elon musk has no leverage on, continue to openly state that he's intelligent.
        don't mistake autism, arrogance and a large ego with a lack of intelligence, he has a broad base of knowledge and most of all, he knows how to find the right people and put them in the right positions, which is the most important skill you can have as a CEO.
        >inb4 musk bootlicker
        you can throw all the EDS you want at the wall, i don't like elon musk, i just think it's silly that obsessive hatred justifies improper assessment these days, it can be dangerous.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          he is above average, just not the absolute top tier. More like a respectable B category. Reminder the gigabrain with highest recorded IQ worked as a bouncer most of his life.

          Right time at the right place with the right genetics forming the right personality to attract the right people to form the right crew(s) is the most reasonable way to describe him. Lottery tier coincidences if you think about it

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            There's also the fact that he invests in exciting, risky ideas and encourages exposure. There are financial genius billionaires that own chunks of continents, but nobody's heard of them and all they do is keep taking over some boring, established field like agriculture, housing etc.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I think Musk genuinely is a genius, but for some reason people seem to forget that's NOT SOME UNIVERSAL POSITIVE. Honestly I find it really fricking weird in culture, so many geniuses throughout our modern history get remembered but the fact that they were fricking autistic weirdos or huge buttholes gets edited out each time. Like take Thomas Edison, he's a really close corollary to Musk, he did amazing things, he was smart as hell, and he was also an absolutely humongous butthole and businessman dick of the highest order. It's not universal, but most successful entrepreneurial maven types seem to also lose something mentally somewhere else, and fall into the same rough mental traps. The few exceptions involve specific circumstances that are hard to replicate. Steve Jobs maybe, he was a lot like Musk as well when he was younger, but unlike Musk or most of these guys who are just plain always successful, he actually had a "failure", Apple had big problems and he got the boot. He then had to spend a certain amount of time "in the cold" and he saw efforts like NeXT which were cool tech, but failed in the market. When he returned to Apple he was still a perfectionist maven butthole on some level, but he was a wiser one. And he was still pretty young when that happened. But few follow that path, like Musk has never had one of his core efforts just implode, he's had good timing along with the hard work. And now he's getting in his early 50s, not old but not a young man anymore either.

          Dunno. I'm not trying to whitewash anything, but I kind of wonder if whatever makes genius types also walks the line of crazy. Like, you have to be somewhat crazy to do some of that stuff objectively, a normal person could get $100m+ payout and then just be set in great luxury buying all the funs they want for the rest of their life zero problem. To then turn right around and bet it all on extremely risky high capital ventures when most such efforts fail takes some crazy.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I kinda agree with you. I don't he's a 169IQ level genius but I wouldn't be surprised if he's around the 130-140 range. He's certainly no Tesla, Einstein or Niels Bohr, but he's pretty fricking clever.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Pretty much. Henry Ford has recently got documents about his bad sides mostly due to his israelite hate.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Most people who talk shit about him are either grifters aka "skeptics" or some youtube pseuds. So people who basically have never achieved anything in their life. Meanwhile when you ask his former employees about him, you'll hear a lot of stories, including heated up arguments, people shouting at eachother but none of them have ever called Musk an idiot or a fraud. It's similar for people from NASA and his industry rivals, their opinion always come with respect.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            thats what put me off the "musk is a pseud and a moron and anything he ever did was actually stolen from someone else" line of thinking, all of those accusations come from people who see him as a political enemy and want to see him fail regardless, whereas most of his former high level employees will tell various colorful stories, but never some juicy one where he is unmasked as this snake oil salesman fraud.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >Most successful space launch company
      >Most successful satellite internet company
      >The first electric car manufacturer that proved that proved that electric cars could be more than those minuscule European shitboxes with a 25 miles battery autonomy
      Sounds to me like you're one dumbass jealous homieaaa, Jeff Bezos.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >launches rockets constantly
      >starlink
      >big glowie dod contracts
      Starlink alone proves the guy is legit

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    this thread is another reminder of how shit /k/ has become since the war tourists arrived. just a bunch of dudes who've read wikipedia and have very animated opinions, and 1-2 anons who aren't speaking out their buttholes

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      this thread is actually just an /sfg/ colony.
      bow down to your new masters.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >SLSgay included

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          indeed

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    SpaceX frequently works with the NRO. Nothing new here.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      It is new, though. Their previous work was limited to launching glowsats.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    So Jormungand-x.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Pothead Put In Charge of Space
    yeah frick sure why not

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Satellites are like a guy freely crossing the border trespassing where ever he wants spying where ever he wants 24/7 in all wavelengths, watching everybody's every move, intercepting and reading all wireless communications everywhere. The US would have made it illegal by international law if it wasn't the US being the only country in the world to do it and profit from it. They made a big deal out of a stray chink weather balloon but go a few meters higher and it's all good. Gonna be interesting to see if it remains legal when others catch up, including with their military ability to use it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Actually it's Soviets insisted with their Sputnik that flying little high is ok and doesn't violate international borders. In hindsight it was gravest Soviet mistake, Soviets got useless meme, West got reliable spying tool. RFLMAO.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I heard once that Ike actually slowed down Project Vanguard with exactly that idea in mind. I don't know if it's a true story, however.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Ike was a shithead, he forced NACA/NASA/whatever to load rockets with concrete instead of actual useful payloads to avoid a space race.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >The US would have made it illegal by international law
      This is not a thing you absolute fricking moron. "Illegal" means near nothing in international relations and "international law" is basically an oxymoron, there can't be "law" without an enforcement power, and by definition there isn't "internationally". Witness Russia committing a million warcrimes. Only the balance of interests and power matters. Any powerful entity can do "illegal" stuff and the question is to what extent are other powers willing to make them pay for it, and at what cost to themselves?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >When they catch up
      Here i am laughing in the Lunar orbit station that's supposed to start going up in a year or so

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      U-2 wing?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      This is how actual Black folk "think." No real clue how reality works, just invent fantasy stories out of their ass to pretend they "know something" or whatever.

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    should have put shitty webcam on every starling and interpolate the image from the thousands of satellites already up there

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Elon musk is a compromised Russian asset. Why would they want him to build this?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      For anything involving national security the Air Force or other arms of the military will typically have full oversight or outright control

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    i've read that a major focus for space strategy over the next decade or so is to develop redundant systems.

    the anti satellite weapons tests china and russia have conducted over the last 10-15 years i think really freaked out the pentagon.

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