The director of the National Reconnaissance Office revealed that two new satellite programs developed in collaboration with the private sector have provided new information on North Korea and other areas of interest to US intelligence.
“Both went from concept to orbit in less than three years, and both were delivered on time and on budget” noted Director Chris Scolese at an industry conference Thursday. “These two systems started to help almost immediately.”
Both systems assisted Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake, helped image areas in Afghanistan to aid evacuation efforts, “and provided insight into areas of North Korea where we struggled. to collect in the past, ”said Scolese.
Scolese acknowledged how rare it is for the office to be open about their plans, saying that “for anyone who has been around the NRO for quite a long time, the fact that we are sharing so much information in public is probably a big surprise. . ” The federal government does not acknowledge the existence of the agency between its creation in 1961 and its decommissioning in 1992.
The agency is seeking to be more open about its mission in order to rely on innovation from the private sector, which has contributed to the success of the two satellite projects.
“We no longer have the luxury of treating our advantage by space out as a no-brainer, ”Scolese said, highlighting the agency’s closer ties with U.S. allies and the need to“ remain focused and aggressive ”to gain benefits through private sector cooperation and continuous innovation.
“The commercial sector presents incredible opportunities,” he said. “For us, sales are not just a priority. It is imperative. We don’t just want it. We need it.”
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Original author: Virginie abram
Original location: New spy satellites may provide data on North Korea and other key areas