Ascension Island Telescope Tracks Fast-Moving Orbital Space Debris

Innovation Now


Island a tropical paradise halfway between brazil and is the home for a nasa telescope with a special mission. And in this case location is everything is innovation now. The nasa air force research laboratory on ascension island houses a telescope with a very special mission to track fast moving orbital space debris the orbital debris program office at nasa's johnson space center collects the data from this and several other ground based optical and radar telescopes across the world. Reliable software tools are then used to predict the risk debris might pose to spacecraft earth and the international space station with more than seven thousand metric tons and millions of individual pieces of space junk orbiting earth tracking the debris is essential because orbital debris moves much. Faster than a sniper's bullet. Even a small piece can destroy satellites or spacecraft on impact but the ascension island telescope has a unique feature a double horseshoe mount designed to track fast moving objects and the view from this telescope gives scientists is on what had been a global blind spot

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