Washington (AFP) Feb 7, 2011
US and French defense chiefs plan to sign a space cooperation agreement on Tuesday designed to help track debris in outer space threatening vital satellites, officials told AFP.
The accord follows the unveiling of a new US space security policy last week that calls for building a network of foreign partners to save costs and deter possible threats to sensitive satellites.
The agreement was aimed at bolstering the sharing of information on congestion and debris in space, US and French officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
The US military and its allies heavily depend on satellites for communications, navigation, spying and targeting, with senior officers increasingly worried about safeguarding vital satellites.
US military radars and sensors track about 22,000 man-made objects in orbit, and experts estimate there are hundreds of thousands of additional pieces of debris that are too small to monitor.
Following a similar agreement between the United States and Australia last year, the "statement of principles" on cooperation with France is one of the first by Washington in the space arena, marking a shift in the Pentagon's approach.
For years, the United States dominated space and saw little need to seek out international partners. But with more countries launching or operating satellites and the threat of collisions rising, military leaders want to promote data sharing with allies and industry.
Titled "Space Situational Awareness Partnership," the agreement is set to be signed during a visit to Washington by French Defense Minister Alain Juppe, who is scheduled to hold talks with his American counterpart, Robert Gates, on Tuesday at the Pentagon.
Their discussions are expected to address the crisis in Egypt and the war in Afghanistan, where France has about 3,750 troops deployed in the US-led coalition.
During his stop in Washington, Juppe is due to hold talks with French General Stephane Abrial, head of NATO's Allied Command Transformation (ACT) based in Virginia, and will meet Republican Senator John McCain.
In presenting the 10-year National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) last week, Gregory Schulte, US deputy secretary of defense for space policy, expressed concern over China's pursuit of space weapons that could knock out satellites or jam signals.
In 2007, China shot down one of its own weather satellites using a medium-range ground missile, sparking international concern not only about how China was "weaponizing" space, but also about debris from the satellite.
The United States reserved the right to respond in "self-defense" to attacks in space, Schulte said on Friday.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
'Space net' for orbiting debris proposed
Tokyo (UPI) Feb 2, 2011
Japan's space agency says it is teaming up with a maker of fishing nets to create a "space net" for safely collecting orbiting space debris. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Nitto Seimo Co. propose launching a satellite, attached to a thin metal net spanning more than a mile, into space before the net is detached and begins to capture space waste while orbiting earth, Brit ... read more
US, France to sign accord on tracking space debris|
Iran Unveils Homemade Satellites And Carrier
Bookstores feeling pain from digital technologies
Portable devices linked to US pedestrian death spike
USAF Selects Northrop Grumman To Research SOA IT For Integrated Air And Space Command And Control
Boeing Tests New Ka-band SATCOM Antenna System
Raytheon to supply radios to Aussie army
RAF Begin Training With US On Intelligence Aircraft
Vandenberg Launches Minotaur One
ISRO Awaits Data On GSLV Failure
BrahMos Aerospace To Make Cryogenic Engines For Indian Rockets
Activities At Esrange Space Center 2011
SkyTraq Introduces Low-Power High-Performance GLONASS/GPS Receiver
JAXA Selects Spirent For Multi-GNSS Testing
Nokia in maps tie-up with China's Sina, Tencent
Russia To Launch New Batch Of Glonass Satellites By June
Displaced birds disrupt Philippine planes
Electronic devices seen as airplane threat
China refutes the J-20 uses F-117 copies
Asia budget carriers eye social media to cut costs
Engineers Grow Nanolasers On Silicon, Pave Way For On-Chip Photonics
Silicon Oxide Gets Into The Electronics Action On Computer Chips
UMD Advance Lights Possible Path To Creating Next Gen Computer Chips
Samsung offers full refund for Intel chip
TRMM Satellite Totaled Cyclone Yasi's Heavy Rainfall In Queensland
A Snowy US Panorama By Satellite
Stunning Satellite Imagery Of Cyclone Yasi From Space
CryoSat Ice Data Now Open To All
Spanish cities take action as pollution levels soar
Scientists Urge New Research Policies In Wake Of Gulf Disaster
Pollutants may threaten Mexico's coast: study
'Red Mud' Disaster's Main Threat To Crops Is Not Toxic Metals
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|