08:51 GMT05 July 2020
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    The radar array Space Fence being built in the US Marshall Islands in the Western Pacific will help protect satellites from orbiting space debris by tracking objects more than 1.5 million times a day, Lockheed Martin announced in a press release on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Space Fence is a program to revamp the way the US Air Force identifies and tracks objects in space, primarily in low-earth orbit, according to Lockheed Martin.

    "The test facility will be used for early validation of hardware, firmware and software that will enable the Space Fence to detect, track and catalog orbital objects more than 1.5 million times a day to predict and prevent space-based collisions," the release said.

    The Marshall Island radar facility, the release noted, will expand testing used at an existing test site in the US state of New Jersey.

    The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has stated that more than 500 pieces of debris or space junk need to be tracked as they orbit Earth at speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour.

    A small piece of orbital debris can destroy or damage a spacecraft or satellite.

    Space Fence will replace the existing Air Force Space Surveillance System, or VHF Fence, which has been in service since the early 1960s. The new system’s initial operational capability is scheduled for 2017, according to Lockheed Martin.

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    Tags:
    radar, US Air Force, United States
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