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Video: Inside DARPA's Space Surveillance Telescope

DARPA

NASA isn't the only agency keeping an eye on outer space. While NASA's Hubble telescope is focused on studying distant galaxies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Space Surveillance Telescope is more concerned with objects in our own neighborhood.

As more and more satellites are launched by public and private entities each year, tracking space debris gets even harder. It's estimated that more than 500,000 pieces of debris hurtle around the Earth at high speeds. Eventually, this debris could damage future satellites and space craft and ultimately impede space exploration.

Tracking this debris is essential, which is where DARPA's Space Surveillance Telescope program comes in.

Located at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the telescope features an innovative design including mirrors that have some of the steepest ever aspherical curvatures.

To learn more about the Space Surveillance Telescope, check out the videos below from DARPA: 

By Caitlin Fairchild October 20, 2016

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