The idea is to spot aggression in orbit and quickly identify who's responsible.
The Pentagon wants to launch a small network of surveillance satellites high into orbit, where they would be able to spot and trace any acts of aggression in outer space.
The three satellites, dreamed up by the Space Development Agency, would be able to autonomously navigate outside of geosynchronous orbit, where they would be able to peer down on any missiles or hostile satellites launched into space by other countries, according to C4ISRNET. While the satellites themselves wouldn’t be armed, the Pentagon hopes they would deter space warfare by making it harder for bad actors to get away with acts of aggression.
Many aspects of the proposed system, even down to the number and size of the semi-autonomous satellites, are still subject to change, C4ISRNET reports. But the overall plan for how they would be used is likely to stay consistent.
In an idealized scenario, the satellites would spot and approach a potentially-hostile satellite as it’s launched into space. They would then identify what country or agency had launched it and what it could be used for. With that evidence, the Pentagon would then be able to contact the country behind the launch or otherwise respond, hoping to deter future acts of aggression in space.
READ MORE: The Pentagon wants to solve a deep space problem with three vehicles [C4ISRNET]
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