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Enhancing situational awareness is a vital mission also in space. The US Department of Defense’s Strategic Command Joint Space Operations Center got Sky and Space’s signature on an agreement ahead of the company’s planned launch of 200 nano-satellites into space, as space junk continues to be a big issue.

The agreement provides for Sky and Space to receive “space situational awareness services” from the US Department of Defence so the company’s nano-satellites will be able to avoid objects like space junk and other satellites.

The deal, which will save Sky and Space millions from not having to build such a service itself, is facilitated through the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Joint Space Operations Centre and ensures the safe operation of the company’s nano-satellites, the first three of which are planned to be launched in the second quarter of this year via the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

USSTRATCOM is responsible for the detection and tracking of all artificial objects in Earth’s orbit and has been delegated authority by the US Secretary of Defence to provide space situational awareness services and information to Sky and Space Global.

It will provide Sky and Space Global with space situational awareness services such as collision avoidance support, conjunction assessment, interference investigation and on-orbit information to ensure the safe operation of the company’s nano-satellites to be used in its narrow bandwidth communications constellation.

Sky and Space Global’s chief executive, Meir Moalem, told “Sky and Space Global is a good citizen of space. We are part of a growing community of space operators and users, and as such, we are looking forward to working with the US Department of Defense to help us better track and manage our constellation of nano-satellites”.