Musk mystery deepens: SpaceX secret launch may belong to NEW US spy agency

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Last week, astronomers pointed out that something weird was happening on one of Musk’s Falcon 9 launches. According to SpaceX, the rocket was only carrying one satellite belonging to communications operator Globalstar, even though the rocket has the capability to carry so much more. These suspicions were confirmed at an official space catalogue of satellites recorded four US Government known probes tagging along with the flight. 

These satellites, which were labelled USA 328, USA 329, USA 330 and USA 331, were shared on Twitter by astrophysicist Dr Jonathan McDowell.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr McDowell noted that, as satellites get smaller thanks to advancements in technology, it is becoming increasingly common for unrelated satellites to be paired together on a launch, which then allows for secretive missions like this.

He added that his “best guess” was that these satellites belonged to the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which builds, launches and operates spy satellites for the US.

However, he noted that this launch was particularly secretive, even for an NRO satellite.

He said: “The things that were different about this launch is that it wasn’t announced in advance that there would be classified payloads onboard. 

“And now that it’s launched, they’ve added four classified objects to the space catalogue, which is sort of an official acknowledgement that yes there were four spacecraft on board. 

“They’re satellites that the US Government acknowledges as its own but isn’t going to tell you what they’re up to.”

According to Dr McDowell, there were many questions about the launch.

He said: “SpaceX could have said a day before the launch that they’re going to be secret satellites on board without saying anything more about them.

“But they didn’t do that, and that seems unnecessarily coy.

“The other thing they could have done is to say that they’re launching four satellites for the NRO, or for the airforce or the space force and they didn’t do that. 

“So we still don’t know which part of the US secret apparatus owns these satellites, and normally they do say that. “

He added that this “unusual level” of secrecy was “clearly intentional”, pointing to the fact that SpaceX kept the cameras off during the phase where they released the US Government satellites, without acknowledging that’s what they were doing. 

The astrophysicists ridiculed this decision, which he believes could have been taken to hide the orbit of the satellite.

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He said: “The whole thing of keeping the orbits of the satellite secret that they do- within a day, amateur astronomers had located the satellites in orbit.

“You can see the satellites going overhead in the sky because you can’t make the sky secret. 

“Now we know the orbits of these satellites, even though the US Government hadn’t announced them.”

Dr McDowell admitted that while it’s possible the launch was kept secret due to some “bureaucratic contracting issue”, it’s could also be possible that the satellites belonged to a new clandestine, classified US agency, similar to the NRO’s operations before the agency became declassified in 1992 and public came to know of it.

He said: “The only remaining question is: are these satellites from the NRO, or maybe is there sme new secret agency that’s still secret, that is operating these satellites. 

“If you want tinfoil, most people have heard of the CIA, most people have not heard of the NRO. 

“Clearly, the CIA sucks at being a secret agency, and now the NRO is getting so well known after 30 years, it wouldn’t surprise me that there’s some bureaucratic spy organisation that feels like it’s time for yet another secret agency that will do naughty things for a while before its exposed.”

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