The militaries of various countries use satellites for espionage purposes. Photo/Reuters
WASHINGTON – Many countries are running a race to strengthen military equipment and equipment not only on land, sea and air, but also in the sky. They send military satellites for espionage purposes in Earth orbit.
The espionage satellite is used for communications, navigation and intelligence gathering. Several satellites were also developed for early warning of missiles approaching an area.
According to worldatlas, there are about 950 satellites of various types in Earth orbit. The total number of military satellites in the world is estimated at 320 with some countries owning some while others are used for commercial purposes.
Here are 7 countries that have espionage satellites to gather intelligence and carry out secret missions.
1. United States
The US has 123 military satellites. The first formal military satellite projects were created and launched in the US in the 1950s.
The US’s first espionage satellite project is known as the 117L Weapon System. The initial satellite to be launched is named Discoverer and is used to observe the Earth and take pictures.
On February 28, 1959, the first satellite, Discoverer-1, was launched. There have been several US espionage satellite projects including Corona, Canyon, Aquacade, Orion, Magnum, and Trumpet.
The newest satellite to be launched is Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9). The satellite is manufactured by Boeing. The satellite will be used for espionage communications.
For a horrendous spy satellite is NROL-44. It was a huge secret project both in size and in fact. In addition, another US spy satellite called Orion (also known as Mentor or Advanced Orion) started operating in 1995.
“NROL-44 is a very large signal intelligence, or SIGINT, satellite,” said David Baker, a former NASA scientist who worked on the Apollo and Shuttle missions, told DW. “SIGINT satellites are the heart of national government, military security satellites. They are big things that are not owned by private companies,” Baker said.
NROL-44 is one of the largest satellites. “Weighs more than five tons. It has a large parabolic antenna that extends to a diameter of more than 100 meters in space, and will enter the plane of the Earth’s equator at a distance of about 36,000 kilometers,” Baker said.