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Lockheed Martin receives $915 million AF Space Fence contract

Posted By Morris On 07 Jul 2014 in Defence and Security

Lockheed Martin receives $915 million AF Space Fence contract
The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin Corp a contract worth around $915 million to examine the huge junkyard of debris revolving the Earth. It includes millions of objects such as dead satellites, lost astronaut appliance and spent rocket stages from space missions within the last half century presently fly around the planet at great speed. Lockheed is targeted with establishing a surveillance system called “Space Fence” that will monitor the Earth’s atmosphere and allow the U.S government to trace such objects caught in Earth’s gravitational pull. To clean up the space debris, efforts have been discussed within the global community, in the past but according to the experts they need to know what objects are revolving the planet as well as what kind of danger it can raise. The Air Force officials says, that the “Space Fence” would now gear the experts with a took to trace and spot much larger pieces of orbiting debris. According to Dana Whalley, the government's program manager - Earlier, the Air Force could only trace and detect objects the size of a basketball but the new system, we'll be able to trace items down to the size of a softball. This will widely increase our capability. The present system engaged is the Space Surveillance Network, a global network of 25 space surveillance sensors that use radar and optical telescopes. Since 1957 the system has been in use, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. Space Fence will be able to locate small objects in low-Earth orbit with its mechanism of a higher wavelength frequency. A continuous radar pulses are to be used to detect, track and identify the orbits of such items, Space Fence substantially forms a pulse-field fence the objects would pass through. The researchers have cataloged only 23,000 items that are bigger than a basketball so far, but 1,100 of those were working spacecraft. NASA has approximated that there are several millions of pieces so small they can't even be traced. Numerous objects that are sometimes part of junk of debris moves at speeds up to 17,500 mph, which can cause considerable damage to the International Space Station and satellites that are important to us down here. All things that are presently launched to space must be attentively calculated as to not collide with any of the revolving debris. Even the smallest pieces such as paint flecks have caused dents in space shuttles. Astronauts aboard the space station are sometimes compelled to take shelter in an escape capsule when an revolving chunk of debris is headed their way. The 2007 National Research Council Study shows, the load of revolving debris is at a spilling point. The researchers are threatening with the possibility that the debris will continue to collide with each other and form a domino effect with a collision deluge similar to one illustrated in the movie “Gravity.” In six months, Lockheed will begin production on the system, based on the island of Kwajalein Atoll, more than 2,400 miles away to the southwest of Honolulu, and is likely to be operational by 2018.

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