Enlarge / The launch of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on Feb. 15th. (credit: ISRO)
The Director of National Intelligence oversees the US intelligence community of 16 different organizations, including the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office.
A key component of the job involves ensuring that US spy satellite assets remain peerless in their capability to observe activities on Earth.
During his confirmation hearing this week the Trump administration’s nominee for this cabinet level position, former Senator Dan Coats, assured the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he would remain vigilant in keeping the nation’s reconnaissance satellites ahead of the global curve.
The United States would also speed up the process by which it gets new technologies into space, he said.
However, when citing an example to make this point, Coats pointed toward the launch of the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle earlier this month and its deployment of 104 satellites. “I was shocked the other day to read that the nation of India, on one rocket launch, deposited more than a hundred satellites in space,” he said, according to Space News. “They may be small in size with different functions and so forth, but one rocket can send up [more than 100] platforms…We’ve seen now 11 nations that have the capacity to launch instruments into space.”
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