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Air Force to Launch Satellite-Spying Spacecraft; Gen. William Shelton Comments

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The U.S. Air Force plans to launch a new satellite system into space in a move to monitor the space activities of other nations’ spacecraft, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.

John Harper writes the first two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites are set for orbital launch aboard a Delta IV rocket on Wednesday at the Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida.

Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command chief, told reporters the satellite system will work to track “nefarious capability other nations might try to place in that critical orbital regime,” according to the report.

Shelton said the GSSAP satellite is developed with advanced imagery and maneuvering technologies in order to collect images of other satellites in orbit, Stars and Stripes reports.

“Through our points of light and various other means, we make inferences on what a particular satellite can do,” Shelton added.

He also told reporters the Air Force must revamp its spacecraft constellations as the service sees various counter-space threats “on the near horizon,” Harper reports.

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