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LeoLabs to Build Space Radar in Costa Rica

By | July 23, 2020
The Midland Space Radar facility in Texas.

The Midland Space Radar facility in Texas. Photo: LeoLabs

LeoLabs, a commercial provider of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) mapping and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services, revealed that its next space radar will be located in Costa Rica. According to a statement from LeoLabs CTO and co-founder Mike Nicolls, this will be the first commercial phased-array radar in the equatorial region.

“We welcome LeoLabs to Costa Rica,” stated Costa Rican President, Carlos Alvarado Quesada. “The vision of a LeoLabs space radar in Costa Rica takes our national tradition of environmental responsibility and extends it to space, offering our nation a way to contribute to preserving the LEO ecosystem for generations to come. In addition, this investment builds on an existing set of space achievements by Costa Rica, in human space flight as well as in satellites, and opens up opportunities for our nation in the growing new space sector,” continued President Alvarado.

LeoLabs co-founder Edward Lu said he reached out to Ad Astra CEO and Co-Founder Franklin Chang Díaz in early 2019 to talk about the pros of building a space radar in Costa Rica, which was how the decision was made. “From our mutual experience in space, Dr. Lu and I were both excited about the opportunity to address the threat to human spaceflight posed by space debris,” said Chang Diaz. “The project in Costa Rica offered us the chance to increase safety of flight in space and enable responsible stewardship to drive our mission of preserving critical ecosystems.”