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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

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.