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Photo: NASA/Reid Wiseman

As space gets more crowded with satellites and space junk, one company wants to make it easier and cheaper to know where things are in orbit during daylight hours.

Driving the news: Numerica received a $750,000 contract from the U.S. Air Force during the first Space Pitch Day last week, with the chance to apply for up to $3 million.

Why it matters: Experts say better means of keeping track of satellites and space junk will be essential as more satellites are launched.

  • Ground-based telescopes are able to track satellites at night without interference from sunlight, but without other means of tracking, that leaves a gap during the day, when many satellites are maneuvering, Numerica vice president Jeff Aristoff told Axios.

Details: Some tracking systems use radar and other expensive technology to track satellites during daytime hours, but Numerica has developed a relatively cheap, autonomous system that Aristoff says can be deployed worldwide.

  • Numerica has tested its system, but it's hoping to raise funding in order to deploy it on a larger scale.

What's happening: The Air Force's Space Pitch Day is part of the organization's bid to modernize and relax the way it interacts with private companies.

  • “What you see here is your Air Force trying to do things differently; experimenting with how we can work closer with the commercial space market particularly the small businesses,” Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center commander, said according to Space News.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Wall Street braces for more turbulence ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.

Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.