Thanks to the Pentagon the most expensive fence-building contract we’ve ever seen made headlines last week. And no, it’s not an aluminum fence! They are calling it a “space fence”.
For years, the Department of Defense has been talking about the need for a new Space Fence, or in more military terms: the Air Force Space Surveillance System, a “ground based radar system that is supposed to track space debris that clutters around Earth and threatens satellites and spacecrafts,” according to an article on CBSNews.com. Take a look at this quick video from Los Angeles local news.
A Few details
This “fence” which is not actually a fence will be constructed by Lockheed Martin, on a $915 million contract. Though there have been major budget cuts to the space program, this space fence has been a long standing priority for the military because of the damage that space debris can cause. Our most updated surveillance that’s currently in place has been around since the ‘60s! Time for an upgrade!
General William L. Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command has been quoted saying there are about “500,000 objects at least one centimeter in size” in orbit. You may think that sounds small, but small debris “moves upward at 17,000 miles per hour.” We’re not sure about you, but we think that sounds like it cause a lot of damage. If not to a satellite, very possibly to our heads!
Aluminum Fence is our thing!
While we prefer aluminum fencing here on earth, Lockheed Martin will employ a S band radar (like a weather radar) on the ground to track the debris and keep our spacecrafts, satellites and selves safe here on Earth!
Look for more news regarding the Space Fence as we edge closer to 2017!