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SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, is building a new network of spy satellites in a categorized undertaking for an American intelligence company, in line with a brand new report.

Reuters, citing unnamed sources acquainted with the categorized contract, studies that the brand new community will contain a whole lot of spy satellites. The revelation comes as army and intelligence companies within the U.S. and elsewhere are more and more reliant on SpaceX and its community of Starlink satellites. SpaceX’s dominance in the satellite internet market has given Musk enormous power in matters of war and geopolitics.

The brand new spy satellites are a part of a $1.8 billion contract with the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace, which manages spy satellites, Reuters studies. It stays unclear when the satellite tv for pc community may be energetic. Neither SpaceX nor the Pentagon commented to Reuters. The NRO didn’t touch upon the specifics of SpaceX’s involvement.

“The Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace is growing probably the most succesful, numerous, and resilient space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system the world has ever seen,” an NRO spokesperson informed Reuters.

SpaceX has come underneath rising scrutiny from Ukraine and from some members of Congress for the position its Starlink satellites have performed within the Russia’s struggle towards Ukraine. Starlink’s satellite tv for pc web terminals have been a important a part of Ukraine’s wartime infrastructure and operations. However a Musk biographer reported final yr that the SpaceX and Tesla CEO, one of the richest people in the world, blocked Ukraine from using Starlink to attack Russia’s fleet within the Black Sea in 2022.

Extra just lately, each Musk and the Kremlin denied final month that SpaceX sold Starlink internet terminals to Russia. Home Democrats earlier this month asked questions about Ukraine’s allegations that Russia is using Starlink.

“Starlink is a useful useful resource for Ukrainians of their struggle towards Russia’s brutal and illegitimate invasion,” U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Robert Garcia of California wrote in a letter to a top SpaceX executive. They voiced concern that “Russian forces might have illicitly obtained and used” Starlink terminals.

“It’s alarming that Russia could also be acquiring and utilizing your expertise to coordinate assaults towards Ukrainian troops in illegally occupied areas in Japanese and Southern Ukraine,” the lawmakers wrote, “probably in violation of U.S. sanctions and export controls.”

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