Time for Missile Interceptors in Space?

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An effective space-based sensor network is a critical component of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system. The better the data the missile defense system has, the more likely it is to successfully intercept incoming missiles. Data is the backbone of the ballistic missile defense architecture, and that is why investments in the sensor network are so critical.

The Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Department’s agency responsible for research, development, and acquisition of U.S. missile defense systems, relies primarily on the Space Tracking and Surveillance System for space-based sensors, and is currently developing the Space-based Kill Assessment network. The surveillance system provides “birth-to-death” tracking of ballistic missiles, including detecting both targets in early stages of a ballistic missile flight and midcourse reentry vehicles. The network is designed to provide a more accurate picture of whether a successful intercept actually occurred.

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