It’s a Mighty Big Job

The space around Earth at about 15,000 miles contains more than 9,000 objects—from active satellites to space “junk,” or debris, from sats and launch vehicles—and tracking them is the job of three Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System detachments. The GEODSS detachments, part of Air Force Space Command’s 21st Space Wing, headquartered at Peterson AFB, Colo., are found in Hawaii, the Indian Ocean, and New Mexico. Keeping watch on the whereabouts of space objects, and relaying that data to US Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center in Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colo., helps ensure the safe operation of US military, civil, and commercial spacecraft. The GEODSS detachments are part of AFSPC’s space surveillance network that could detect an adversarial attack on US space assets.