VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. — More than 32,000 man-made objects fill lower-space orbit. These objects range from satellites to piece of rockets dating back more than 40 years.
The 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) tracks those objects. Their tracking helps prevent space collisions between objects already in space as well as launching into space.
18 SPCS has its roots in 1966 starting at Edwards Air Force Base. The mission was relocated and activated at Vandenberg Space Force Base on July 22, 2016. The squadron has been tracking man-made objects in space since with international support.
Most recently 18 SPCS was able to identify and delay a launch to keep the launch payload safe. They also tracked the Chinese fallen rocket from orbit into the Indian Ocean.