Hello, Guest!

Defense and Intelligence

NRO Expands Spy Satellite Network With NROL-186 Launch

Second deployment

NRO Expands Spy Satellite Network With NROL-186 Launch

The National Reconnaissance Office has launched its NROL-186 mission in collaboration with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 30 and SpaceX.

A Falcon 9 rocket carried the classified payloads, which marks the second deployment of the NRO’s proliferated architecture, a new generation of intelligence-gathering satellites, the NRO said.

NRO Director Chris Scolese emphasized the program’s advantages, saying it allows for faster data collection and delivery to meet the evolving needs of the U.S. intelligence community and military and civil partners.

Scolese, a past Wash100 awardee and a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker, added that the enhanced capability is also crucial in an environment with rising competition and threats.

The NRO anticipates several more launches for the proliferated architecture program throughout 2024, with deployments expected to continue through 2028.

NROL-186 follows the NROL-146 launch in May, which deployed the first batch of satellites for the new proliferated system. Before that, the NRO also launched its fifth national security mission aboard Rocket Lab USA’s Electron rocket for space research initiatives.

Potomac Officers Club Logo
Sign up for Potomac Officers Club's daily briefing
Receive updates on events and relevant news