U.S. Space Command took another step in expanding its international space data sharing network; this time with the nation of Peru.
Maj. Gen. Javier Tuesta Marquez, National Commission on Aerospace Research and Development (CONIDA), Republic of Peru, and Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, USSPACECOM Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy, co-signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities.
Hitchcock said that Peru has taken an important step today in advancing space domain awareness as a whole. USSPACECOM looks forward to this great new relationship with the Republic of Peru and CONIDA. It will provide essential inputs to this expanding network of space-faring nations, ensuring sustainability of the domain and the continued safety and security to all on-orbit assets.
CONIDA is the lead agency for all space activities for the nation of Peru and the headquarters of the Peruvian Space Agency. Founded in 1974, the commission is now housed under the Peruvian Ministry of Defense.
Tuesta Marquez added that with this agreement Peru seeks to strengthen its space capabilities and contribute to global space safety.
CONIDA’s mission is to ‘promote, investigate, develop and disseminate space science and technology, generating products and services that contribute to the socioeconomic development and security of the nation, that promote spatial positioning in the region.’
The data sharing agreement demonstrates the growing importance of safety and security in the space domain to all responsible space-faring nations. This agreement will give Peru access to the highest quality satellite tracking data available to assist them with PerúSat-1 and its eventual follow-on and will provide a linkage to the experts at the 18th Space Control Squadron.
In addition, the SSA Agreement enables Peru to request seven advanced services available only to agreement holders. Including Peru, 25 foreign nations have joined the SSA data-sharing and safety of spaceflight network. This critical collaboration helps to maintain a robust picture of the space domain. These countries include: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Space Situational Awareness data sharing agreements advance National and Presidential policies which call for expanding international cooperation and increasing U.S. leadership to promote the sustainable and responsible use of space. By entering into the proposed agreements, DoD (represented by US Space Command) is authorized to exchange SSA information consistent with 10 U.S.C. § 2274.
The statute allows DoD to provide various SSA services and information, and to receive SSA data and information from the partner. These exchanges improve safety of global space flight, while enhancing the overall USG SSA. This information is particularly critical for avoiding future collisions in outer space that can degrade the space environment for all countries, such as the February 2009 collision between the Iridium and Russian Cosmos satellites.