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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A military satellite is an artificial satellite used for a military purpose, often for gathering intelligence, as a communications satellite used for military purposes, or as a military weapon.

A model of a German SAR-Lupe reconnaissance satellite inside a Cosmos-3M rocket.

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A satellite by itself is neither military nor civil. It is the kind of payload it carries that enables one to arrive at a decision regarding its military or civilian character.Ref N-1 Nevertheless, even the above distinction is now blurred. For example, a civilian satellite can carry military transponders and vice versa. Civil commercial satellites are also known to carry out military tasks including enabling military communications, imagery etc. At the same time, military satellites like the NAVSTAR GPS have more civilian users than military users. In spite of the above possibilities, satellites which have purely military uses are known as military satellites.

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