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Norway joins U.S. Air Force on space data sharing program

By Richard Tomkins
Norway joins U.S. Air Force on space data sharing program
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier of the U.S. Strategic Command signs data-sharing agreement with Norway's Air Force Col. Stig Nilsson looking on. Photo by David Grim/U.S. Air Force

April 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Strategic Command is to share space situational services and data with Norwegian government agencies under a memorandum of understanding.

The memo was signed earlier this week by U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, USSTRATCOM director of plans and policy, and Royal Norwegian Air Force Col. Stig Nilsson, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense head of the space program,

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Officials of Norway's Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries Research and Innovation Department signed the agreement in Oslo last month.

The U.S. Air Force said the agreement enhances awareness within the space domain and increases the safety of spaceflight operations.

"Maintaining freedom of navigation as an international norm is best approached via coalitions formed through an intersection of interests," Crosier said. "Space situational agreements are a prime example of this, helping to strengthen our alliances while at the same time increasing our resiliency."

Norway is now the 13th nation to sign a space data-sharing agreement with USSTRATCOM. Others are Britain, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Spain, Germany, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Belgium.

More than 60 commercial satellite owners, operators and launch companies also participate in the U.S. space data sharing program.

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