From the road, the Eglin Air Force space radar facility isn't visible. But as you approach it, the impressive 10-story structure is hard to miss. Standing at 143 feet tall, the Eglin Air Force Base 20th Space Control Squad's main job is to detect, track and identify space objects."
"We can track two hundred simultaneous near earth objects and we do track about 22 thousand objects daily" said 1st Lieutenant Linea Greener.
Those 22-thousand objects are part of a living catalog that's updated every time something new enters the grid. It's the only facility doing this type of work in northwestern Florida.
"We have that unique mission of doing space track space surveillance which is far different from most of the stuff that goes on in the emerald coast area" said Lieutenant Colonel Mitch Katosic.
Construction began back in 1962, but the space radar didn't become operational until 1969. It's designed to monitor a grid of outer space.
"This facility this squadron is one of about 42 different 21st space wing units that performs missile warning missile defense and space control" said Mitch Katosic.
Several different departments make-up the space control squad. They monitor more than five thousand transmitters and forty-five hundred receivers.
"So this is what we call the mission operations center. This is where we receiver all of our tasking, and set up the radar" said Mitch Katosic.
"This is the receiver side of the radar, and basically there's a transmitter side that shoots out the R.F. energy and the receiver side picks it all up" said Linea Greener.
Colonel Katosic says the radar system picks up several thousand objects in space every day. Some of the space objects monitored include disabled satellites and released parts of space shuttles. The radar also helps prevent any of the "space junk" from hitting functional satellites and of course the international space station.