US satellite spy agency donates telescopes to NASA

Jun 04, 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: Mars, Saturn and the claws of Scorpius

5 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Space image: Through the looking glass

Jun 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.

Radical Antarctic telescope "would outdo Hubble"

Sep 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 ...

NASA to use Space Age 'droid' satellites

Jul 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.

Recommended for you

Mars, Saturn and the claws of Scorpius

1 hour ago

Look up at the night sky this week and you'll find Mars and Saturn together in the west. Mars stands out with its reddish colouring and you might just be able to detect a faint yellow tinge to Saturn. ...

Electric sparks may alter evolution of lunar soil

4 hours ago

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire and NASA scientists suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles may have significantly ...

User comments : 0