What is NETRA Project?

 What is NETRA Project?

News: In pursue of addressing the space junk crisis, a space debris tracking radar with a range of 1500 km and an optical telescope will be inducted as a part of establishing an effective surveillance and tracking network under the Network for Space Objects Tracking and Analysis (NETRA) project.

About Space Junk:
• Space junk or debris consist of spent rocket stages, dead satellites, fragments of space objects resulting from Anti-Satellite systems (ASAT).
• Most of these debris are found in Low-earth Orbit (LEO) and even centimeter sized fragments can be catastrophic to satellites.
• The Kessler Syndrome states that if there is too much space junk in orbit, it could result in a chain reaction where further more objects will collide and create new junk in the space.

About NETRA Project:
• It is an early warning space system in space to detect debris and other hazards to our satellites. Once functional, it will help our country gain Space situational awareness (SSA).
• Under NETRA, the ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities: connected radars, telescopes, data processing units and a control centre.
• NETRA can spot, track and catalogue objects as small as 10 cm, up to a range of 3,400 km and equal to a space orbit of around 2,000 km.
• The SSA also has a military quotient to it and adds a new ring to the country’s overall security, against attacks from air, space or sea.
• At present, India depends on data from North American Aerospace Defend Command (NORAD), which shares selective debris data with many countries.

As more countries launch space satellites, each of them has a commercial or strategic component, thus avoiding collisions becomes vital and being self-reliant in this area will help India safeguard its space assets.  

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