The U.S. Strategic Command has signed an agreement with Canada to exchange information aimed at preventing collisions between spacecraft and flotsam in Earth’s orbit.
The Space Situational Awareness agreement lets StratCom swap data with Canada’s Department of National Defense about space launches and the thousands of pieces of junk from previous missions.
Through a network of sensors, StratCom’s Joint Space Operations Center monitors more than 17,000 space objects. That number is expected to triple by 2030, according to forecasts by the Air Force Space Command.
Canada is the fourth nation to sign an agreement, joining Japan, Australia and Italy. Numerous private companies have reached similar pacts. The pact was signed Dec. 26, a StratCom release said, but wasn’t announced until Friday.