Aboard Commercial Rocket, Space Defense Agency Sends up Satellites for First Time

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Source: NASA, https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jun/23/2002747927/-1/-1/0/200530-O-D0439-001.JPG
Source: NASA, https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jun/23/2002747927/-1/-1/0/200530-O-D0439-001.JPG

July 27, 2021 | Originally published by U.S. Department of Defense on June 23, 2021

The Falcon 9 mission will include five Space Defense agency (SDA) satellites. These include a pair of “Mandrake II” satellites; two “Laser Interconnect Networking Communications System,” or LINCS, satellites; and a satellite carrying the SDA’s Prototype On-orbit Experimental Testbed, or POET, experiment.

The SDA is working now on delivering the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), which includes hundreds of satellites delivered in “tranches” every two years; each tranche will provide more capability.

The NDSA’s network of hundreds of satellites will provide beyond-line-of-sight targeting for ground and maritime time-sensitive targets and the same for enemy missiles already in flight. The system will provide the ability to detect those targets, track them, calculate a fire control solution, and then deliver that solution down to a weapons platform so the target can be destroyed.