Spy agency ready to launch new vehicle-tracking satellites

The National Reconnaissance Office is gearing up to launch new satellites that will enable the U.S. military and intelligence community to track moving vehicles and people from space.

The Air Force wants to replace its aging E-8 JSTARS aircraft, which provide targeting data, with more survivable space assets and hand off a part of the ground moving target indicator mission, called GMTI, to satellites. 

The NRO already put satellites into orbit to test out the concept—and now the agency is ready to launch satellites for operations, said Christopher Scolese, director of the NRO.