Space surveillance

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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;[1]
  • 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;[1]
  • Informing countries whether or not objects may interfere with satellites and International Space Station orbits;
  • Providing data for future anti-satellite weapons systems.


Systems include:


  1. ^ a b c "Space Surveillance". Retrieved 2016-12-06.

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