U.S. military vows to track 800 satellites by October 1

By | April 1, 2009

By Andrea Shalal-Esa

Posted 2009/03/30 at 10:52 pm EDT

See full size imageCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, Mar. 30, 2009 (Reuters) — Spurred by last month’s collision of two satellites high above the Earth, the U.S. military plans to begin tracking all 800 maneuverable spacecraft currently operating in space by October 1, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Monday.

U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command will work together to expand the number of satellites being tracked from about 300 currently, Air Force Colonel Dusty Tyson, chief of the Pentagon’s National Security Space Office, told reporters at a space conference in Colorado Springs.

He said the decision was made at a high-level Pentagon meeting on March 24 attended by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, General Kevin Chilton, head of Strategic Command, General Robert Kehler, who runs Air Force Space Command and John Grimes, the Pentagon’s chief information officer.

“They’re going to stand up a level of capability by 1 October. They hope to be able to provide conjunction analysis on all 800, plus or minus, maneuverable satellites,” Tyson said at the Space Foundation’s annual National Space Symposium.

Tyson said some officials had long believed a collision of satellites would eventually happen and had been pressing for better tracking of satellites and other objects in space.

But the February 10 collision of a dead Russian military communications satellite and a commercial U.S. satellite owned by Iridium had spurred the military into quicker action, he said.

via NewsDaily: U.S. military vows to track 800 satellites by October 1.

Huh? We don’t know where all man-made satellites are? I thought, that even back in 2001, that the military already constantly tracks everything … down to the size of a baseball.  That’s what I heard.

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