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Space surveillance is the study and monitoring of satellites orbiting the earth. It involves the detection, tracking, cataloging and identification of artificial objects, i.e. active/inactive satellites, spent rocket bodies, or fragmentation debris.
Space surveillance accomplishes the following:
- Predicting when and where a decaying space object will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere;
- Preventing a returning space object, which to radar looks like a missile, from triggering a false alarm in missile-attack warning sensors;
- Charting the present position of space objects and plot their anticipated orbital paths;
- Detecting new man-made objects in space;
- Producing a running catalogue of man-made space objects;
- Determining which country owns a re-entering space object;
- Informing countries whether or not objects may interfere with satellites and International Space Station orbits;
- Providing data for future anti-satellite weapons systems.
- The United States Space Surveillance Network which has detectors such as the Space Fence (replacing the now defunct Air Force Space Surveillance System) and Space Surveillance Telescope
- The Russian Main Control Centre of Outer Space with facilities such as Okno and Krona
- The European Space Situational Awareness Programme with multiple assets in its Space Surveillance and Tracking Segment
- "Space Surveillance". www.au.af.mil. Retrieved 2016-12-06.