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News | April 7, 2022

USAFA Falcon Telescope on Display at FIDAE Trade and Air Show in Chile

By Master Sgt. Michael Davis

The U.S. Space Force, in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), have brought a .5 meter telescope known as the Falcon Telescope to display at the Space Force booth during Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio (FIDAE), Latin America’s largest aerospace, defense and security exhibition, April 5-10, 2022.

The telescope was transported to Chile with the help of the Texas Air National Guard and their C-130J Super Hercules, which is also on display at the FIDAE.

With the assistance of several Chilean Air Force members, Dr. Francis Chun, Falcon Telescope Program Director, unpacked and assembled the telescope at FIDAE to highlight the cooperation of the U.S. and Chile. Dr. Chun will also present a brief lecture about the Falcon Telescope Program at the Inaugural Chilean Space Summit, which is part of the FIDAE week in Santiago.

While the telescope will be on display throughout the week, the plan is to loan it to Chile’s Universidad Católica del Norte later in the 2023 for their research purposes and to allow them to benefit from the globally distributed Falcon Telescope Network.

“The Falcon Telescope is an opportunity for the U.S. Government to collaborate with a strong regional partner in a space endeavor that enhances the peaceful use of space, said U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Jonathan Whitaker, U.S. Southern Command Director of Space Forces. “Additionally, the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcon Telescope team benefits by adding a new scientific partner in a world-class location for astronomical observation, Chile’s Atacama Desert.”

This opportunity highlights a pillar of the U.S. Space Force security cooperation in South America, which is to engage with partners in areas of mutual benefit to achieve national goals.