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DARPA hands over Space Surveillance Telescope to U.S. Air Force

Tuesday's ceremony marked the transfer of the most sophisticated instrument of its kind ever made.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, handed the Space Surveillance Telescope over to the U.S. Air Force during a ceremony Tuesday. U.S. DARPA photo
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, handed the Space Surveillance Telescope over to the U.S. Air Force during a ceremony Tuesday. U.S. DARPA photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, handed the Space Surveillance Telescope over to the U.S. Air Force during a ceremony Tuesday.

The telescope is the most sophisticated instrument of its kind ever developed and was passed to Space Command during a mountaintop ceremony in New Mexico, the agency said in a statement.

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The telescope was a DARPA-led design and construction program. The Air Force plans to operate the telescope in Australia jointly with the Australian government.

The Space Surveillance Telescope is notable for its breakthroughs in design, camera technology and image analysis software, while offering much faster discovery and tracking of previously unseen or hard-to-find small space objects.

The agency says it is poised to revolutionize space situational awareness while helping to prevent potential collisions with satellites.

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