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LeoStella will help build space traffic trackers

Tukwila, Wash.-based LeoStella will oversee the assembly of the first three satellites for a constellation that’s designed to keep track of space traffic.

LeoStella’s new project is part of a bigger contract between Canada’s NorthStar Earth and Space on one hand, and Europe’s Thales Alenia Space on the other.

NorthStar says its Skylark satellite constellation will be part of the world’s first commercial space-based environmental and near-space monitoring system. The satellites will be tasked with monitoring thousands of natural and human-made objects in low Earth orbit, and sounding an alert if a collision risk is detected.

That sort of space situational awareness is expected to become more important as thousands more satellites — including spacecraft for the SpaceX Starlink, OneWeb and Amazon Kuiper broadband data networks — are launched in the years ahead.

“We are here to make space safe for doing business, now and into the future,” Stewart Bain, NorthStar’s CEO and co-founder, said in a news release.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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