US satellite spy agency donates telescopes to NASA

June 4, 2012

(AP) -- NASA has received a gift from an unexpected source — the nation's satellite spy agency.

The space agency confirmed Monday that it has received a pair of giant identical telescopes from the National Reconnaissance Office, which oversees the country's constellation of spy satellites. NASA says the built them and then decided it didn't need them. The transfer last summer was only recently declassified.

Even with this windfall, NASA has no money to launch the telescopes anytime soon.

The telescopes have mirrors similar in size to the famed Hubble Space , but they lack cameras and instruments essential for astronomy research. The telescopes are currently in upstate New York.

Scientists hope will repurpose one of the telescopes to study mysterious dark energy.

Explore further: Radical Antarctic telescope "would outdo Hubble"

0 shares

Related Stories

Radical Antarctic telescope "would outdo Hubble"

September 16, 2004

A novel Antarctic telescope with 16-m diameter mirrors would far outperform the Hubble Space Telescope, and could be built at a tiny fraction of its cost, says a scientist from the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney, ...

Satellite telescope control system created

April 25, 2006

Engineers at Public University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, have completed work on an automatic control system for Darwin-type satellite telescopes.

NASA to use Space Age 'droid' satellites

July 11, 2006

NASA scientists say they are ready to test "smart" satellites that can fly in precision formation and are relatively inexpensive to make and operate.

Space image: Through the looking glass

June 15, 2011

The NASA logo on Bldg. 703 at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., is reflected in the 2.5-meter primary mirror of the SOFIA observatory's telescope.

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.