Air Force might shutter satellite- and space junk-tracking Space Fence soon

DNP RIP Space fence

We imagine the Air Force is none too pleased that Space Fence might shutter as soon as September 1st due to budget constraints, according to leaked memos obtained by Space News. Space Fence, a powerful system of radars that track satellites and space junk orbiting the Earth, performs 40 percent of the Air Force Space Surveillance Network's observations. It can detect objects as small as a basketball up to 24,000 kilometers away and can constantly beam info back to the planet with no human input. It's no surprise then that the airmen called it a "critical defense system" when they tried to save the project in July -- an endeavor they failed if this info turns out to be true. Before anyone worries about unmonitored celestial debris hurtling toward Earth, know that a plan to build a more advanced Space Fence replacement exists. The only reason why it's not in the works is because it has yet to secure funding, leading this editor to think that someone really needs to get started engineering a money tree.

[Image credit: NASA]