NRO Finds Ways To Cope with Decline in Research Funding

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The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is working more closely with other military research organizations to help offset a steep decline in its own funding for that purpose, NRO Director Bruce Carlson said. These organizations include the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, he said.

Speaking Nov. 3 at the Space Symposium, Carlson also said the NRO has several high-priority and highly priced satellites slated to launch over the next 15 months to 18 months.

In a wide-ranging speech, Carlson also shed more light on the rewrite of the NRO’s charter now underway. The agency’s original charter was written in 1964. The goals of the exercise include giving the NRO more decision authority for its programs, more control of its employees, who come from the Air Force and CIA, and a say in establishing the requirements for intelligence-gathering satellites.

The NRO also wants the budgetary flexibility to shift funds between programs as necessary, Carlson said.