U.S. Navy Orders Satellite To Assist In New Star Map

by: Matthew Potter
March 30, 2010

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The Navy placed a contract with the New York company Comtech Communications Corp. to build a satellite to carry a star mapping system. The contract has a value of about $38 million. The Navy currently uses a star catalogue based on data collected by a mission in 1989. Now it must rebuild it due to concerns that the old data has degraded due to the stars relative motion.

The satellite will be launched in 2013 and will the payload will operate for three years collecting the data. This is one part of the Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (JMAPS) which is run by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The new catalog will aid navigation and satellite tracking.

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