Maj. Gen. Javier Tuesta Marquez, National Commission on Aerospace Research and Development (CONIDA), Republic of Peru, signs a space data sharing Memorandum of Understanding between his country and the United States. Credit: U.S. Space Command

WASHINGTON — Peru is the latest nation to join a U.S.-led network of countries that share information on space objects tracked by satellites and ground sensors.

Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force and commander of U.S. Space Command, told reporters on May 20 that United States signed a new space situational awareness agreement this month with Peru.

A spokesman for U.S. Space Command said the agreement was signed last week between Maj. Gen. Javier Tuesta Marquez, from the National Commission on Aerospace Research and Development of the Republic of Peru (CONIDA) and Rear Adm. Marcus Hitchcock, U.S. Space Command’s director of strategy, plans and policy.

CONIDA is the lead agency for all space activities for the nation of Peru and the headquarters of the Peruvian Space Agency.

“Peru has taken an important step today in advancing space domain awareness as a whole,” said Hitchcock in a news release.

“With this agreement Peru seeks to strengthen its space capabilities and contribute to global space safety,” said Tuesta Marquez.

The data-sharing Memorandum of Understanding will give Peru access to high-quality satellite tracking data. Peru operates the PerúSat-1 Earth observation satellite and plans to deploy a follow-on satellite. The agreement connects Peru’s space agency with experts at the 18th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, who track space objects for the United States.

The SSA agreement allows Peru to request advanced services available only to agreement holders.

Including Peru, 25 foreign nations have joined the SSA data-sharing and safety of spaceflight network. 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, said U.S. Space Command, are “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.”

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...