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Surveillance in Space: The Future of Spy and Stealth Satellites

Alexandra Stickings
RUSI Defence Systems, 15 December 2016
Aerospace, National Security and Resilience Studies, Technology
While not a new phenomenon, the use of spy and stealth technology in space continues to have an impact on how security is viewed in this domain. Understanding the implications is becoming increasingly important

The US has been using stealth technology to complement its espionage programme in space since at least the 1980s. Misty is a CIA-developed satellite more than ten years in the making that has several signature reduction features which will be discussed in more detail below. It was launched into orbit by the space shuttle Atlantis in 1990. While the project has been beset by difficulties in funding and political support, the space stealth programme continues to be an important part of the country’s wider surveillance environment.

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Author

Alexandra Stickings
Research Analyst, National Security and Resilience

Alexandra Stickings is a Research Analyst within the National Security and Resilience Studies group at RUSI. Working primarily within... read more

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