U.S. to station space radar in Australia
The U.S. military said on Wednesday it will station in Australia an advanced radar to help track space junk threatening satellites and is working toward placement of a new, state-of-the-art deep-space telescope developed by the Pentagon’s advanced research arm.
The positioning of the advanced military equipment is another sign of deepening U.S. military ties with Australia and America’s widely touted “pivot” to Asia. It follows an agreement last year for a rotating training presence of up to 2,500 Marines in Australia’s northern tropical city of Darwin.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Australia’s Defense Minister Stephen Smith made the announcement after high-level talks in the city of Perth, adding the C-Band radar would be moved from its present location on the island of Antigua some time in 2014.
“There is now so much debris in space that being acutely aware of space debris is very important to all nation states,” Smith said, warning that space junk could threaten satellites.