Modern spy satellites in an age of space wars | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 25.08.2020 (sucking up hundreds of thousands of cell calls)

The US has launched seven Orion satellites so far. NROL-44 is one of the biggest.

“It weighs more than five tons. It has a huge parabolic antenna which unfolds to a diameter of more than 100 meters in space, and it will go into an equatorial plane of Earth at a distance of about 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles),” says Baker.

Spy satellites “hoover up” of hundreds of thousands of cell phone calls or scour the dark web for terrorist activity.

In the US, the Union of Concerned Scientists monitors satellite activity and publishes a public database, which lists at least 49 NRO satellites. That’s just a fraction of America’s 154 military satellites, and it could be more.

Source: Modern spy satellites in an age of space wars | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 25.08.2020