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Space Situational Awareness Satellites

Orbits


2010 – U.S.: SBSS – Snapshot

In 2010, the United States launched the first Space Based Space Surveillance satellite (SBSS-1) for its Space Surveillance Network. From its LEO orbit, SBSS-1 supplements ground-based equipment that tracks more than ## objects ## centimeters (## inches) or larger orbiting Earth. Its vantage point in space means that its observations of other objects in space are not affected by weather, lighting, or distortion that can be caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. This enables more accurate and timely information regarding objects’ orbital paths, thus allowing for earlier warnings of potential spacecraft collisions.

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2010 – U.S.: SBSS – Snapshot

Another notable launch in 2010 was the first Space Based Space Surveillance satellite (SBSS-1) for the U.S. Space Surveillance Network. This branch of U.S. Strategic Command is tasked with detecting, identifying, and tracking space objects in order to provide true situational awareness in space. From its LEO orbit, SBSS-1 will supplement ground-based equipment that tracks more than ## objects orbiting Earth. Its vantage point from space means that its measurements are not subject to weather, lighting, or distortion that can be caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.

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2010 – U.S. Space Surveillance Network – Snapshot

One specialized type of system that uses both satellites and ground stations is dedicated to space situational awareness (SSA). An SSA system tracks satellites and other objects orbiting Earth. This is accomplished through a series of ground stations which are dedicated to scanning the sky via a variety of means in order to detect and plot the courses of objects in space. This data is then compiled and analyzed to create a series of predictions regarding possible collisions.

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