Space Briefing Book:

Space Situational Awareness

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

There are tens of thousands of objects in Earth orbit that pose a potential threat to satellites and launches. Space Situational Awareness (SSA) refers to keeping track of objects in orbit and predicting where they will be at any given time.

Space Situational Awareness graphic

A depiction of space debris in Earth orbit. Credit: The Space Foundation

SSA Organizations

U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Space Surveillance Network
A global network of ground-based sensors and tracking systems that inform an up-to-date catalog of satellites, dubbed the Space Object Catalog.

USSTRATCOM SSA Sharing Program
Promotes data exchange with other organizations tracking space debris.

ESA SSA Programme
Develops capabilities to track objects in orbit that could disrupt other satellites
or impact ground-based infrastructure.

Russian Military Space Surveillance Network (SKKP)
Russia’s equivalent of the USSTRATCOM Space Surveillance Network, the SKKP catalogues space objects and tracks and predicts their location in orbit.

Space Data Association (SDA)
An international organization of satellite operators working to, in part, enhance the “accuracy and timeliness of collision warning notifications.”

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