On Jan. 15, 2023, a Falcon Heavy rocket operated by SpaceX was utilized to send the USSF-67 national security mission into orbit. This mission included several payloads, three of which were developed by the Space Rapid Capabilities Office. This unveiled the shadowy military branch called Space RCO. 

It was unusual for the Space RCO, headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, to say something since they usually keep their activities secret. However, Kelly Hammett, the leader of the Space RCO, noted that the choice to expose the satellites on the USSF-67 mission is part of a more expansive attempt to begin discarding the agency’s veil of secrecy.

Seven months ago, Hammett was chosen to lead the Space RCO; previously, he had headed the directed energy division of the Air Force Research Laboratory. One of his objectives for the space agency is to enhance its public presence in Washington, DC, and collaborate with a greater assortment of the space industry.

“We’re going to be a little bit more open about what we do,” he told SpaceNews in a recent interview.