Images of space from the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) in remote Western Australia have been captured, marking a significant milestone for Project AIR 3029 Phase 2.

The first pictures from the joint Australia-United States space facility at Exmouth on WA’s Coral Coast follows its reassembly in a purpose-built facility, complete with a 270-tonne rotating dome.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the telescope is a game changer for Defence.

“This world-leading, 360-degree telescope will enable Defence to better track and identify objects and threats in space including space debris, as well as predict and avoid potential collisions,” Minister Reynolds said.

“It will become an important part of the global Space Surveillance Network, which provides space domain awareness to both Australia and the United States.”

The telescope was initially developed in the United States for scientific research that will be relocated to Exmouth, Western Australia from New Mexico in the U.S.

The move of the SST also comes under Project AIR 3029 Phase 2, and also saw Sitzler Construction build the 2-megawatt central power station for the Space Surveillance Telescope with support from local and national industry suppliers.

The SST will now undergo extensive testing, and is expected to be operational in 2022.

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