Report: Elon Musk's SpaceX May Be Building Spy Satellites for U.S. Government

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I have to say, I like Elon Musk. He’s basically the real world’s Tony Stark. I like that he is using the fact that he has “eff-you” money to do as he pleases, like buying Twitter (now X) to make sure it’s a free speech platform; I’m glad that he doesn’t take any crap from the woke brigades, and besides, you just have to love a guy who posts video of himself popping off rounds from his personal Barrett .50 caliber rifle.

Now we see that there are reports that Musk’s SpaceX enterprise will be building a fleet of spy satellites for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and one can’t help but have second thoughts about that. Reuters reports in an exclusive story:

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.

The plans show the extent of SpaceX’s involvement in U.S. intelligence and military projects and illustrate a deeper Pentagon investment into vast, low-Earth orbiting satellite systems aimed at supporting ground forces.

If successful, the sources said the program would significantly advance the ability of the U.S. government and military to quickly spot potential targets almost anywhere on the globe.

It is perhaps belaboring the obvious that “…anywhere on the globe” includes American territory.

Some might dismiss this as conspiracy theory territory, but it is in the nature of overbearing government to employ precisely these kinds of surveillance tactics. There are already surveillance efforts in place that have the capacity and legal authority to tap into electronic communications sent from or to the United States, after all. 

One would sure have to hope Elon Musk, for all his various tech enterprises that have made him the richest African-American on the planet, knows what he’s doing this time.

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Granted surveillance satellites aren’t anything new; they have been in place since the Cold War. Musk’s Starshield operation will likely be producing examples that represent the next level.

“The National Reconnaissance Office is developing the most capable, diverse, and resilient space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system the world has ever seen,” a spokesperson said.

The satellites can track targets on the ground and share that data with U.S. intelligence and military officials, the sources said. In principle, that would enable the U.S. government to quickly capture continuous imagery of activities on the ground nearly anywhere on the globe, aiding intelligence and military operations, they added.

Speaking as a guy who was around and was wearing Uncle Sam’s colors during the last few years of the Cold War, I can say that back in those days our only real concerns about reconnaissance satellites were that they would let us know in advance what bad guys were up to, so we could “close with and destroy the enemy by fire, maneuver and shock effect.” 

But that doesn’t appear to be the purpose of the military anymore; it is, instead, a jobs program for the most neurotic among us. It would come as little surprise, given the contempt with which some in government seem to view much of the citizenry, that the intelligence-gathering apparatus might, legally or not, be similarly repurposed.

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