The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) placed 3 new satellites into orbit this week. The classified payloads made their way to space onboard a Minotaur I rocket launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island in the State of Virginia.
The NRO, a secretive arm of the United States Intelligence Community and the Defense Department, is tasked with designing, building, launching, and operating various space assets that monitor both Earth and space for possible threats.The state-of-the-art trio of spy satellites were built by Northrop Grumman, a government contractor with ties to the Defense Department spanning decades.
Although both agencies declined to comment on the assigned duties of these new birds, experts are gathering clues from the imagery illustrated in the NROL-111 official mission patch, which features a winged wild boar in full aviator attire and a motto that reads: "Boldness be my friend." According to the NRO, they chose the symbol of this particular wild beast because "boars are a good spirit guide to call on when you have ambitious goals, inspiring tenacity to achieve them." Others, however, note that wild boar can also become aggressive easily and can attack when provoked, but are calm when left at a distance. Do these character traits reveal an offensive/retaliatory side to these satellites? Comment below.