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Space Situational Awareness Satellites


2012 – Canada: Sapphire

The ability to minimize false detections of missile launches is a feature of Canada’s Sapphire spacecraft, launched in February 2013. The C$## million (US$## million) spacecraft, which features a unique…

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2013 – U.S. Space Surveillance Network

Space situational awareness (SSA) is an important national security mission with strong dual-use applications. SSA systems are dedicated to tracking and characterizing every object in Earth’s orbit, making sure objects…

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2013 – U.S.: SBSS

The U.S. Space Based Surveillance System (SBSS) satellite, launched in 2010, uses an optical sensor to detect objects in space as it orbits around Earth. It has an expected lifespan…

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2013 – Canada: Sapphire

The ability to minimize false detections of missile launches is a feature of Canada’s Sapphire spacecraft, launched in February 2013. The C$## million (US$## million) spacecraft, which features a unique…

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2012 – ESA: SSA

Europe is investing in a pan-European SSA capability through an ESA program that was initiated in 2009. Investment of €## million (US$## million) was initially requested for full-scale development, but…

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Ground Components

The United States currently operates the most capable SSA system, the Space Surveillance Network (SSN). The SSN is composed of stations based around the globe that use a combination of…

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