Australia, US, and UK join partnership to protect satellites

Summary:Australia is joining a global initiative to help satellites avoid space junk, and each other.

The Australian federal government has signed a new space defence co-operation partnership with the US, UK and Canada.

Defence Minister David Johnston said assured access to space was increasingly important for national security purposes, as well as for many technologies that underpin modern economies and daily life.

These include the stock exchange, credit card transactions, weather and climate monitoring, natural disaster warnings, communications, and navigation.

"At the same time, the increasing congestion in space from over 50 years of space activities and a significant rise in space debris present a rising threat to our assured access to space," he said in a statement.

Senator Johnston says the new defence forces partnership will enable the sharing of information and resources to synchronise space operations and provide better awareness of the space environment.

It will also enhance co-operation in identifying and understanding what objects are in space, and so help satellites avoid collisions.

Topics: Nasa / Space, Government, Government : AU, Government : UK

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