UK to Build Telescope to Monitor Critical Space Assets

The UK has contracted local space technology company Spaceflux to build a telescope that will monitor and protect critical space assets from collisions and adversarial actions.

Under Project Nyx Alpha, the ground-based space camera-telescope system will be constructed in Cyprus, focusing on objects in geostationary orbit approximately 36,000 kilometers (22,300 miles) above the equator.

The system will allow for the sharing of data with partner organizations and international allies, as one of the UK’s most advanced capabilities for strategic space domain partnerships and collaborations.

UK National Space Ecosystem

Spaceflux CEO and founder Dr. Marco Rocchetto said that the telescope system greatly contributes to the UK’s national space ecosystem.

“Space Domain Awareness is vital for the safety and security of in-orbit assets and is increasingly becoming foundational in space operations. Spaceflux has developed solutions, which guarantee timeliness, reliability, and accuracy of SDA systems,” he said.

Strategic Move

Cyprus was chosen as the site because its geography and elevation allow for a better view of the geostationary orbit than the British mainland.

“Operating a sensor in Cyprus enhances our vital national capability to track objects in space to help avoid collisions and protect the satellites we depend on,” UK Space Agency CEO Dr. Paul Bate said.

Spaceflux will be responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the system onsite.

The contract is part of the UK’s growing presence in the space domain. In addition to the new telescope system, the country’s Space Command and Space Agency are set to launch the National Space Operations Centre next year, highlighting the country’s key priorities for civil and defense space capabilities.

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