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There may be a gap between when the current generation of Advanced KH-11 and Onyx reconnaissance satellites stop working and when their replacements are ready.
Gaps may be avoided only if the satellites in orbit and those to be launched perform at least as well and as long as expected--or better and longer--which is by no means an unknown occurrence. However, launch disasters or unexpected failures in orbit could leave U.S. military and intelligence officials wishing they had been somewhat less optimistic about their ability to replace last century's models with satellites that can satisfy all the demands of this century.