SpaceX lands contract to construct missile monitoring satellites for US navy

A stack of SpaceX Starlink satellites being deployed in orbit.


SpaceX is now within the enterprise of constructing satellites that do greater than beam broadband across the globe. Elon Musk’s house firm is one in every of two corporations awarded a contract from the Area Improvement Company (a part of the US Division of Protection) to construct 4 satellites every that may observe missile threats from low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX will obtain over $149 million for the job, whereas main protection contractor L3 Harris will obtain over $193 million, SDA announced on Monday. 

The satellites will likely be developed round an infrared sensor with a large discipline of view that may observe even hypersonic missiles. The SpaceX satellite tv for pc will likely be based mostly across the guts of the Starlink satellite tv for pc, however the sensor will come from one other provider, Area Improvement Company Director Derek Tournear informed SpaceNews. 

L3 Harris will likely be producing the total satellites, together with the sensor, in home.  

SpaceX has already launched a number of hundred Starlink satellites on its approach to finally producing tens of hundreds if its broadband mega-constellation is to satisfy the corporate’s full ambitions. 

The eight satellites will likely be a part of the primary era of what the SDA calls “the monitoring layer” and have to be designed to interface with “transport layer” satellites being developed by Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems. Transport layer satellites talk with monitoring layer satellites and route the knowledge they collect to the place it is wanted on Earth. 

The businesses will likely be required to ship the satellites by September 2022, and if all works effectively, the US navy may order as much as 30 extra of the monitoring satellites so as to add to the system within the coming years. 

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