Startup aims to provide Space Force a satellite that can study the satellites of other countries

True Anomaly, a Colorado-based startup, has proposed building satellites for the Space Force designed to maneuver close to other satellites and provide high resolution imagery and data about them.

The company has already raised $30 million, and used it to hire 57 employees and a facility for manufacturing these satellites.

The startup plans to use the funding to scale the production of its Jackal Autonomous Orbital Vehicle, which was designed to study space objects at close range. The spacecraft collects photos, videos and data about any space objects in orbit, and it’s operated by humans with the assistance of artificial intelligence pilots.

Both China and Russia have flown a handful of satellites testing this exact technology. The U.S. has not, at least nothing comparable in recent years.

The real story here however is the manner in which the Space Force will do this. Instead of designing and building the satellites itself, which has been the policy of the military for decades, the Space Force is following the recommendations in my 2017 policy paper, Capitalism in Space, and becoming merely a customer, letting private companies do the work and own it themselves.