SpaceX launches first satellites for new US spy constellation

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - SpaceX on Wednesday launched an inaugural batch of operational spy satellites it built as part of a new U.S. intelligence network designed to significantly upgrade the country's space-based surveillance powers, the first deployment of several more planned this year.

The spy network was revealed in a pair of Reuters reports earlier this year showing SpaceX is building hundreds of satellites for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, an intelligence agency, for a vast system in orbit capable of rapidly spotting ground targets almost anywhere in the world.

Northrop Grumman, a longtime space and defense contractor, is also involved in the project.