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(Russia) ESA to deploy its space environment monitor by 2015 August 22, 2005 11:23 PM


ST. PETERSBURG, August 22 (RIA Novosti, Olga Vtorova) - The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to complete the deployment of its space environment monitor by 2015, an established Swiss astronomer said Monday.

Speaking at an international seminar in St. Petersburg, Thomas Schildknecht of Bern University's Astronomy Institute said the ESA's new system for space environment monitoring and control would use one radar and four or five ground-based optical stations.

Heiner Klinkrad, of the ESA's Space Operations and Control Center (ESOC), added that the system would be deployed somewhere in southern Europe, most probably Spain.

Stanislav Veniaminov, a senior fellow at the Russian Defense Ministry's Space Research Institute, told reporters there were only two global systems for space environment control at this point, one in Russia and one in the United States, but by the end of this year, the French armed forces would come up with a new system for monitoring geostationary orbits to protect the earth and spacecraft from objects posing a potential threat. Veniaminov said scientists involved in space environment monitoring found it particularly challenging to locate miniature satellites.

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