Since space is inhabited by satellites, it is important, according to the Department of Defense, to closely monitor objects, such as satellites and debris, to keep space free for everyone. This security is vital and is included in STAR, the Army’s investment plan.
According to the Defense website, a study shows that there is not yet a telescope in Antarctica to address this problem. “This could give the Belgian Defense, and therefore Belgium, an advantage in international associations if a telescope were installed in that area. Such a South Polar telescope makes it possible to observe objects in space (satellites and debris) in polar orbit with great precision and speed,” the Defense said.
Before this project can be implemented, there must be a scientific flight to determine the environmental, meteorological and astronomical impacts. A team of three scientists will go to the site for this purpose. Only then can it be assessed whether it is technically possible to install a telescope. If the evaluation is positive, other technical aspects will be developed and maximum cooperation with Belgian scientific organizations will be achieved to realize the plan. The six potential sites are located within an 80-kilometre radius around the Belgian base.
The results of this mission will be published around April. The installation of the telescope depends on a decision from the government.
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