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The Space Development Agency and the Missile Defense Agency have successfully launched six satellites aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, marking a significant advancement in the United States’ ability to track high-speed missile threats, including hypersonic missiles.

These satellites, part of a concerted effort between the agencies and the Space Force, aim to create a dense network capable of detecting and tracking both traditional and advanced missile threats from low Earth orbit.

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The launch included four satellites from the Space Development Agency and two from the Missile Defense Agency’s Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program, all designed to operate in low Earth orbit to provide comprehensive missile tracking capabilities. In a statement, SDA Director Derek Tournear said, “Launching our tracking satellites into the same orbit with the MDA HBTSS satellites is a win for both agencies.”

This initiative is a component of a broader Space Force strategy, which involves a significant investment—nearly $16 billion through fiscal 2028—to improve missile warning and tracking systems. Future satellite groups will integrate the capabilities of both the SDA and MDA sensors, featuring the medium-field-of-view sensor from the satellites for tracking dimmer targets. L3Harris has been contracted to build all four of the SDA satellites, marking a notable expansion of its role from a payload provider to a prime contractor in satellite development.


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