National Reconnaissance Office director on space threats, future tech and climate


The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) provides credible, usable intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance information to government agencies. Government Matters’ Mimi Geerges interviewed NRO Director Dr. Christopher Scolese.

  • The NRO provides the government, military, policy makers and analysts information from space by putting satellites into orbit around Earth, said Scolese.
  • The office collects information about adversaries’ intentions, natural disasters, sea-level rise and other subjects, he said.
  • Scolese said Russian and Chinese anti-satellite weapons threaten U.S. space systems so the NRO works to develop architectures that make those weapons less usable. He said it is important to get ahead of current technology.
  • The NRO works with startups and small businesses with innovative ideas as well as companies with more mature products, said Scolese.
  • He said the office is partnering with the United Kingdom on a launch, which will demonstrate that systems developed by and for the UK can be interoperable with U.S. systems.

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NRO Director Chris Scolese spoke with the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces during a hearing on April 6 (Photo by NRO staff)

National Reconnaissance Office 60th Anniversary Art Display (Photo by NRO Staff)