National Reconnaissance Office [NRO] Law and Legal Definition

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is a federal agency designed to operate spy satellites of the U.S. government. The NRO is an agency of the Department of Defense and is funded through the National Reconnaissance Program, that is a part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program.[United States v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10636 (D.D.C. June 10, 2003)]

The main objectives of the NRO are the following:

1. To develop and operate unique and innovative space reconnaissance systems; and

2. To conduct intelligence-related activities essential for national security of the U.S..

The NRO works closely with its intelligence and space partners that includes:

1. The National Security Agency (NSA),

2.The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA),

3.The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),

4.The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA),

5.The U.S. Strategic Command,

6.The Naval Research Laboratory.

The NRO also operates ground stations around the world that collect and distribute intelligence gathered from reconnaissance satellites.