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VIDEO: Maui Space Surveillance
Site Modernization Unveiled

Posted 12:13 PM HST, June 14, 2012

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A ceremony was held atop the Summit of Haleakala yesterday, marking the end to a three-year site modernization effort for equipment at the Maui Space Surveillance System.

“The modernization program ensures that the observatory functions for the next decade. You have those core systems that you must have—telephones, networks, computers—those things you can’t do without,” said Lt. Col. Michael Harvey.

“We have the same telescopes that we did before, (but with) new sensors, new CCD technology on the sensors—and it really is setting us up for the next decade plus and beyond,” said Lt. Col. Harvey.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said the project plays a key role not only for Maui but the international community.

“When we start looking at Maui County and what we can do to be able to stand out in the world—and we are competitors in the world—the telescope gives us the ability to really point out that science and technology are key for our community, and that we are willing to move into the modern world,” said Mayor Arakawa.

The modernization project, Lt. Col. Harvey said, “is going to keep this observatory as a state of the art within the Department of Defense and within the international community for space situational awareness.”

The development of science and technology, Mayor Arakawa said, “all of these things are going to be able to push us forward into the future.”

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Space Surveillance Center. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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  • Lord Haw-Haw.

    This is a slick PR video in context the main role of the MSSC is monitoring ballistic missiles and military satellites hence the input of uniformed spin-doctors. To glean an alternative perspective just Google “Kilakila o Haleakala” there are four highly recommended videos on the website which outline the Hawaiian Nationals viewpoint not conversationally represented in the above video bar the visual “blessing” ceremony. 

    The key point being the issue of ceded (a.k.a. stolen) lands. While blessing the astronomical community, militarism does not warrant the invocation of a big-daddy in the sky….  no pun intended!

    • Dakine

      Actually, the main role of the MSSC is to monitor space junk (including commercial and military satellites).  The ballistic monitoring goes on Big Island at “Mauna Kea” and on Kauai at “Barking Sands”.

      • Lord Haw-Haw.

        What you state is effectively true in theory but in practice the 1.2 meter NEAT telescope carries out those functions as a main role this is in conjunction with a similar 1.2 meter Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory as part of the Near Earth Detection Program.
        The MSSC 3.67-meter AEOS has the capability to observe missile experiments out of both Vandenberg AFB and Barking Sands this explains in part why for security the MSSC is listed as a private observatory which is not open to the public.

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