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Surveillance in Space: The Future of Spy and Stealth Satellites

Alexandra Stickings
RUSI Defence Systems, 15 December 2016
Aerospace, Terrorism and Conflict, 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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Alexandra Stickings
Research Fellow, Space Policy and Security
Alexandra Stickings is Research Fellow for Space Policy and Security within the Military Sciences team at RUSI.... read more

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