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Army’s Microsatellite Demonstrator Launches Aboard SpaceX Rocket to Support Tactical Comms

A U.S. Army microsatellite lifted off aboard SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 rocket Monday to demonstrate collection and delivery of real-time imagery data from space to tactical warfighters on ground.

Kestrel Eye launched from NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of SpaceX’s 12th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, the Army said Monday.

The 100-pound microsatellite demonstrator is built by Adcole Maryland Aerospace and designed to help troops send and receive electro-optical images from the satellite.

“We have every expectation that placing Kestrel Eye into orbit will confirm our premise that an electro-optical microsatellite, tasked directly by the warfighter, will fill a critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance gap for brigade combat team and below tactical users,” said Tom Webber, director of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Tech Center.

Webber added the service branch will perform a series of functional checks on the satellite once deployed from the space station.

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